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Purpose: To determine the phytochemical composition, acute toxicity, as well as analgesic and antiinflammatory properties of extracts of the aerial parts and callus cultures of Asteriscus graveolens.
Methods: Different standard chemical tests were used for the screening of bioactive compounds in aqueous extracts of aerial parts of Asteriscus graveolens (PAE) and callus (CAE). High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis was performed to identify the constituents of the glycosidic extract (GE). Acute oral toxicity test was carried out to ascertain the safety of the plant material. The analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of the extracts were determined using acetic acid-induced writhing test and carrageenan-induced edema test, respectively.
Results: Phytochemical analysis showed some differences in composition between the aerial parts and callus cultures. Results from HPLC analysis revealed the presence of 12 phenolic compounds in the GE of adult plants. In addition to being orally safe (no mortality), all extracts showed significant inhibition of acetic acid-induced chemical pain: PAE and GE produced 63 and 68 % reductions in pain, respectively, relative to 60.26 % pain reduction by aspirin. All extracts exerted potent anti-inflammatory effects, with PAE producing the highest effect (73 %) at a dose of 100 mg/mL.
Conclusion: Asteriscus graveolens extracts possess potent pharmacological properties due to the presence of some phenolic compounds, especially flavonoids. These findings provide a scientific basis for the traditional uses of Asteriscus graveolens, and indicate that it is a potential source of antiinflammatory agents.
Keywords: Acute toxicity, Anti-nociceptive, Anti-inflammatory, Aqueous extract, Callus, Flavonoids