Abstract Ethnopharmacological relevance Pu-erh green tea, originally produced in the Yunnan province of P.R. China for about 1700 years, is believed to be beneficial to health in Asian countries. The potential toxicity of Pu-erh green tea when administered at high doses via concentrated extract, however, has not been completely investigated. The aim of the study The present study was aimed to evaluate the potential toxicity of Pu-erh green tea extract (PGTE) of sub-chronic administration to Sprague Dawley (SD) rats. Materials and methods Growing SD rats were administrated orally by gavage with PGTE at doses of 0, 1250, 2500, and 5000mg/kg/day for 91 consecutive days. Clinical observations, including survival, hematology, serum biochemistry, urinalysis and histopathological examination were measured to monitor treatment-related adverse effects in rats. Results The results showed that oral administration of high dose of PGTE led to body weight gain suppression, liver and calcium deposition dysfunctions. Conclusions In conclusion, the no-observed-adverse-effect level for Pu-erh green tea extract derived from the results of the present study was 2500mg/kg/day for both genders.