These experiments were performed to investigate the safety of the three medicinal herbs- Curcuma longa Linne, Paeonia japonica Miyabe, Scutellaria baikalensis George-irradiated with gamma rays in respect of genotoxicity. The methanol-soluble and water-soluble fractions of the methanol-water extracts of the 10 kGy gamma-irradiated herbs were examined in two short-term in vitro tests : (1) Salmonella typhimurium reversion assay (Ames test) in strain TA 98, TA 100 and TA 012 (2) Micronucleus test in cultured Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. No mutagenicity was detected in the assays with or without metabolic activation. From these results, the safety of the herbs irradiated with gamma rays at practical doses could be revealed in further tests of genotoxicity in vivo, chronic and reproductive toxiceity.
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