Hepatotoxic constituents in the rumen of Brachiaria decumbens intoxicated sheep.

Spectroscopic examinations of purified extracts of the rumen content of sheep intoxicated by Brachiaria decumbens revealed the presence of a mixture of sapogenins, identified as 3-spirostanols. These isomeric steroid sapogenins (C27H44O3) are believed the toxic principles in causing toxicity in sheep after feeding on B. decumbens.