Medicinal Plants of the Australian Aboriginal Dharawal People Exhibiting Anti-Inflammatory Activity.

Research paper by Most A MA Akhtar, Ritesh R Raju, Karren D KD Beattie, Frances F Bodkin, Gerald G Münch

Indexed on: 25 Jan '17Published on: 25 Jan '17Published in: Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM


Chronic inflammation contributes to multiple ageing-related musculoskeletal and neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease. More recently, chronic neuroinflammation has been attributed to Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease and autism-spectrum and obsessive-compulsive disorders. To date, pharmacotherapy of inflammatory conditions is based mainly on nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs which in contrast to cytokine-suppressive anti-inflammatory drugs do not influence the production of cytokines such as tumour necrosis factor-α or nitric oxide. However, their prolonged use can cause gastrointestinal toxicity and promote adverse events such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and thrombosis. Hence, there is a critical need to develop novel and safer nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs possessing alternate mechanism of action. In this study, plants used by the Dharawal Aboriginal people in Australia for the treatment of inflammatory conditions, for example, asthma, arthritis, rheumatism, fever, oedema, eye inflammation, and inflammation of bladder and related inflammatory diseases, were evaluated for their anti-inflammatory activity in vitro. Ethanolic extracts from 17 Eucalyptus spp. (Myrtaceae) were assessed for their capacity to inhibit nitric oxide and tumor necrosis factor-α production in RAW 264.7 macrophages. Eucalyptus benthamii showed the most potent nitric oxide inhibitory effect (IC50  5.57 ± 1.4 µg/mL), whilst E. bosistoana, E. botryoides, E. saligna, E. smithii, E. umbra, and E. viminalis exhibited nitric oxide inhibition values between 7.58 and 19.77 µg/mL.

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