Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Pyretic Activities of Blumea mollis (D. Don) MERR.


Brindha Devi G.B. and Amutha K.*

Department of Biotechnology, School of Life Sciences, VELS University, Velan Nagar, Pallavaram, Chennai- 600 0117, Tamil Nadu, India.


Blumea mollis (Asteraceae) has been widely used in the traditional medicinal system for the treatment of a variety of diseases. However, to be clinically useful, more scientific data are needed. Therefore, in the present study, we investigated the effects of B. mollis on acute and chronic inflammation. To assess the anti-inflammatory and antipyretic activities, water extract of B. mollis was tested in carrageenan-induced rat paw oedema. The rat paw oedema is considered as one of the most useful laboratory tests for assessing the anti-inflammatory activity of potential herbal crude extracts. The paw volumes, pyrexia and writhes in experimental rats were reduced significantly (p < 0.05) as compared to that of control. The anti-inflammatory effect of B. mollis clearly illustrates that the extracts obtained with the whole plant parts produced statistically significant acute anti-inflammatory effects.


KEYWORDS: Paw oedema, Blume mollis, Carageenan, herbal extracts



India is a rich source of medicinal plants and a number of plant derived oils and extracts are used against diseases in various systems of medicine such as Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha. Only a few of them have been scientifically explored. Plant derived natural products such as flavonoids, terpenes and alkaloids1,2 have received considerable attention in recent years due to their diverse pharmacological properties including inflammatory, antipyretic and analgesic activities. Inflammation is a pathophysiological response of living tissue to injuries that leads to the local accumulation of plasmic fluid and blood cells3. The complex events and mediators involved in the inflammatory reaction can induce, maintain or aggravate many diseases. However, studies have been continuing on inflammatory diseases and the side effects of the currently available anti-inflammatory drugs pose a major problem during their clinical uses. Therefore, development of newer and more substantial anti-inflammatory drugs with lesser side effects is necessary3.


Blumea mollis is an aromatic annual herb growing 30–60 cm high and commonly found in the plains of India, outer Himalaya, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. The leaf of the plant is traditionally used for skin diseases and the boiled herb is used to treat diarrhea4. Phytochemical studies on the essential oil of B. mollis showed the presence of alkanes n-triacontane, n-hentriacontane, 2,3-dimethoxyp- cymene, chrysanthanone, 2,4,5-trimethoxyallylbenzene, methyl-5-isopropyl-1,2-methycyclopentane carboxylate and caryophylleneoxide5,6.


In the present study, we examined the anti-inflammatory and antipyretic activities of water extract of B. mollis.




Plant material and identification:

Fresh plants of B. mollis were collected in March 2009 from Irula Tribe Women Welfare Society, Chengalpet, Tamil Nadu, India. Further taxonomic identification was conducted at Department of Plant Biology and Plant Biotechnology, Ethiraj College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. The plants were dried, powdered and stored in an airtight container for further use.


Preparation of water extract:

40 g of the powder was soaked in two litres of distilled water in which the powder was held overnight. This aqueous mixture was heated at 70°C followed by cooling at room temperature and filtered. The water extract is kept on slow flame till it attains powder form.



Wistar albino rats of both sexes weighing between 100 to 120 g were used for the study. Animals were housed under standard conditions of temperature (25°C), 12 h/12 h light/dark cycles and fed with standard pellet diet and tap water.



200 mg Paracetamol tablets (Smithkline Beechem Pvt. LTD., Mysore) and 100mg Ibuprofen tablet (Knoll Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Mumbai) were grounded separately and suspended in 10ml water with Carboxy Methyl Cellulose (CMC) as suspending agent for standard drug. 1g water extract of B. mollis was prepared for test drug.


Anti-inflammatory activity:

The animals with a body weight ranging from 100 g - 120 g were orally administered for 7 days with different concentrations of test drug extract (B. mollis extract). A suspension of 0.1 ml carrageenan (type IV; 1% w/v in saline solution) was injected in the subplantar region of the left hind paw of the rats; 0.1 ml saline solution as control. The vehicle carboxyl methylcellulose 1% w/v (0.1 ml) was used for the control group of rats. The reference drug Ibuprofen (10 mg/kg) was administered orally after 20 minutes of the carrageenan injection as an anti-inflammatory agent. The hind paw volume was measured according to the method of Bhatt et al, (1977)7. The volume of oedema in each rat was calculated from the initial and final volume of the hind foot. The percentage inhibition of increase in volume of the injected foot oedema was calculated for each animal group by the following formula: Paw oedema inhibition = Vc – Vt / Vc*100; Where Vc = mean increase of paw volume control animals; Vt = mean increase of paw volume of treated animals. The results were statistically analyzed as per student ‘t’ test.


Anti pyretic activity:

Yeast induced hyperthermia method:

15 rats were selected and made hyperthermic by subcutaneous injection of 12% yeast suspension at a dose of 1 ml per animal. Then the rats were divided into three equal groups. After 10 hours of yeast administration, saline was administered at a dose of 1ml per animal orally to one group. The second group required paracetamol 20 mg per animal orally. The third group was given the test drug (B. mollis extract), 100mg per animal orally. The mean rectal temperature of the rats was recorded at 0, 1½, 3, 4½ hours after drug administration8. The results were statistically analyzed as per Student ‘t’ test.



The data found in Table 1, clearly illustrates that the extracts obtained with the whole plant parts of B. mollis produced statistically significant acute anti-inflammatory effects. The mean percentage of inhibition directly correlates with the anti-inflammatory effect produced. The test drug B. mollis extract produced 34% inhibition, while the standard drug, Ibuproben which served as the positive control produced 53.34% inhibition. The present study revealed that the extract of B. mollis exhibited significant anti-inflammatory action. The present investigation on the antipyretic activity of B. mollis extract revealed that the activity of the test drug is comparable with the standard drug and produced statistically significant results.


The determination of the paw volume in the experimental groups has been used for evaluating the degree of inflammation and the therapeutic effects of the drug. The extracts of B. mollis (test drug) along with the standard drug ibuprofen showed significant reduction in volume when compared with control rats. The time course of oedema development of carrageenan induced paw oedema methods in rats generally involves 3 district phases of mediators release, including, histamine and sertatonin in first phase, kinins in the second phase and prostaglandins in the third phase.


The effect of the extracts on carrageenan induced paw edema was more pronounced in the third hour of the inflammatory response, which corresponds to the phase of prostaglandin release. Also the carrageenan induced paw edema model in rats is known to be sensitive to cyclo-oxygenase inhibitions and has been used to evaluate the effect of NSAID's which primarily inhibit the cyclo-oxygenase involved in prostaglandin synthesis.



The anti-inflammatory agents of Withania somnifera was acted by blocking H1, H2 receptors in early phase followed by prostaglandin in delayed phase of acute inflammatory reaction9. Teucrium buxifolium has potent anti-inflammatory properties against induced paw oedema was reported10. The effect of different parts of Sida rhombifolia on oedema in rats was reported11. The powdered aerial parts and its methanol extract showed significant oedema suppressant activity. Anti-inflammatory effects of ethanolic extract of 11 traditionally used Jordanian plants were studied. Mentha piperata, Jasminum officinale, Commiphora molmol and Beta vulgaris were effective against acute and chronic inflammation12.



Table 1. Acute Anti-Inflammatory Study




Oral dose/ 100 gm body weight

Mean Wt granulation tissue in mg.+ S.E

Mean percentage of inflammation

Mean percentage of inhibition




300 + = 5.5  t = 35.78





10 mg

140 + =4.5  t = 11.27



Test drug

Aqueous extract of Blumea mollis

100 mg

198 + = 9.3 t = 13.57



Significant , P – value = 0.0001


Table 2. Antipyretic Study



Dose/ 100 gm body weight

Mean initial temperature in C

Temp. after

1 ½ hrs

Temp. after  3 hrs

Temp. after  4 ½ hrs C + = S.E


Water  1ml




38.6 + = 0.19  t = 6.49


Paracetomol  10 mg




36.4 + = 0.24  t = 1.0

Test drug

Aqueous extract of Blumea mollis 100 mg




36.6+ = 0.24 t = 0.98

Highly Significant, P – value = 0.0001



The aqueous extract of Emilia sonchifolia leaves showing a more pronounced effect than the methanol extract which progressively reduced rat paw oedema induced by sub plantar injection of albumin13. The chemical composition and larvicidal activity of the essential oil of B. mollis was reported14. In this investigation carrageenin, kaolin and nystatin were used to induce paw oedema and for chronic inhibition tests, cotton pellets were used to induce granuloma. Carrageenan-induced rat paw oedema has been used as an inflammation model in order to investigate the anti-inflammatory effect of several drugs15. The inflammatory response induced by carrageenin was due to prostaglandins release through arachidonic acid metabolism via cyclooxygenase pathway. Elephantopus scaber, a folk medicinal plant exhibited significant suppression of chronic arthritis induced by complete Freund’s Adjuvant16. Based on these reports it can be concluded that the inhibitory effects of the extracts on inflammation could be due to inhibition of prostaglandin. The exact mechanism of action of the extracts requires further investigation. In the present investigation of antipyretic study (Table-2), the extracts of B. mollis exhibited significant antipyretic activity when compared with the standard drug, paracetamol. The active principle of the extract, which has the antipyretic activity, may be confirmed on further investigation in future.



Authors are thankful to the Management of Vael’s Educational Trust, Chennai, Tamilnadu, India, for providing the infrastructure for the present study.



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Received on 26.08.2010

Accepted on 01.01.2011     

© A &V Publication all right reserved

Research Journal of Pharmacognosy  and Phytochemistry. 3(1): Jan. - Feb. 2011, 14-16