Research Article: Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Delonix regia (Boj. Ex. Hook)

Date Published: November 1, 2012

Publisher: Hindawi Publishing Corporation

Author(s): Vaishali D. Shewale, Tushar A. Deshmukh, Liladhar S. Patil, Vijay R. Patil.


The present work was to evaluate the anti-inflammatory activity of Delonix regia leaves (Family: Caesalpiniaceae). The powder of Delonix regia leaves was subjected to extraction with ethanol in soxhlet extractor. The ethanol extract after preliminary phytochemical investigation showed the presence of sterols, triterpenoids, phenolic compounds and flavonoids. The anti-inflammatory activity was studied using carrageenan-induced rat paw edema and cotton pellet granuloma at a three different doses (100, 200, and 400 mg/kg b.w. p.o.) of ethanol extract. The ethanol extract of Delonix regia leaves was exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity at the dose of 400 mg/kg in both models when compared with control group. Indomethacin (10 mg/kg b.w. p.o) was also shown significant anti-inflammatory activity in both models.

Partial Text

Inflammation is a series of pathological changes associated with local vascular reaction and cellular response, the living tissue, an injury insufficient to kill the tissue. This is distinguished from the wider problem of generalized reactions of the body. However, it is related to infection caused by microorganisms, and various pathological changes are associated with it [1]. Traditional medicines play an important role in health services around the globe. About three-quarters of the world population relies on plants and plant extracts for healthcare. The rational design of novel drugs from traditional medicine offers new prospects in modern healthcare. Delonix regia (Boj. Ex. Hook) (Family: Caesalpiniaceae) is a medium-sized tree found in greater parts of India. The decoction of the leaves is traditionally used in treating gastric problems, body pain, and rheumatic pains of joints [2, 3]. Ethanolic extracts of flower and bark were investigated to anti-inflammatory activity in rats [4]. The leaves are reported to antibacterial [5] and antimalarial [6]. Delonix regia contains proteins, flavonoids, tannins, phenolic compounds, glycosides, sterols, and triterpenoids. However, no data were found regarding the pharmacological and phytochemical evaluation of the leaves of the plant. The aim of the present study was to investigate the anti-inflammatory activity of the ethanol extract of the leaves of Delonix regia (Boj. Ex. Hook).

Carrageenan-induced oedema of rat foot is used widely as a working model of inflammation in the search for new anti-inflammatory agents [16] and appeared to be the basis for the discovery of indomethacin, the anti-inflammatory drug [17]. The oedema which develops in rat paw after carrageenan injection is a biphasic event. The initial phase is attributed to the release of histamine and serotonin, the oedema maintained between the first and second phase to kinin, and the second phase to prostaglandin [18]. All the mediators appear to be dependent upon an intact complement system for their activation and release [19]. It has been shown that, in the early phase of the oedema, the dominant cells are polymorphonuclears whereas in advanced stages mononuclears predominate. In this study, indomethacin (nonsteroidal) anti-inflammatory drug was tested on carrageenan oedema [20]. Phytochemical studies on Delonix regia revealed that it contains β-sitosterol, tannin, lupeol, and flavonoids [21]. Hentriacontane, hentriacontanol and it’s D-glucoside, and campesterol were identified as constituents of Delonix regia [22].

Preliminary phytochemical analysis indicated that the ethanol extract of Delonix regia contains sterols, triterpenoids, flavonoids, and phenolic compounds. The anti-inflammatory activity of ethanol extract of Delonix regia may probably be due to the presence of several bioactive anti-inflammatory principals. However, it needs isolation, structural elucidation, and screening of any of the above-mentioned active principle/s to pin point activity of drug. It is thus apparent that ethanol extract of Delonix regia possesses anti-inflammatory activity.