Author(s): Yonathan M, Asres K, Assefa A, Bucar F
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Abstract In Ethiopia inflammatory skin diseases are among the most common health problems treated with traditional remedies which mainly comprise medicinal plants. In the present work, the anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive activities of Cheilanthes farinosa (Forsk.) Kaulf (Adianthaceae), a fern used in many parts of Ethiopia to treat inflammatory skin disorders, were studied using in vivo models of inflammation and pain. The results of the study showed that the fronds Cheilanthes farinosa possess strong anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive properties. It was further demonstrated that the active ingredients of the fern reside mainly in the methanol fraction from which three compounds viz. the flavonol glycoside rutin, and the natural cinnamic acids, caffeic acid and its quinic acid derivative chlorogenic acid have been isolated. The methanol extract was also shown to potentiate the anti-inflammatory activity of acetyl salicylic acid. At the tested concentrations, the methanol extract displayed a better anti-nociceptive activity than that of ASA in both the early and late phases of formalin induced nociception in mice. However, the activity of the extract was more pronounced in the late phase, which is commonly associated with inflammatory pain. Evaluation of the pharmacological properties of the compounds isolated from the active fractions pointed out that chlorogenic acid possesses strong anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive activities while caffeic acid and rutin were inactive. Moreover, on molar basis chlorogenic acid was proved to be superior in its anti-inflammatory action to acetyl salicylic acid. It was therefore concluded that chlorogenic acid contributes, in full or in part, to the anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive activities of Cheilanthes farinosa. Both the methanolic extract and pure chlorogenic acid failed to display anti-nociceptive activity when tested by the tail-flick test indicating that the plant is not a centrally acting analgesic but instead exerts its analgesic activity by way of its antinflammtory action.
This article was published in J Ethnopharmacol
and referenced in Medicinal Chemistry