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African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 9 (8), pp. 1225-1229, 22 February, 2010 Available online at ISSN 1684–5315 © 2010 Academic Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity of the methanol extract of Malva parviflora Linn (Malvaceae) in rats
Anthony J. Afolayan1, Oluseyi M. Aboyade1, Adeolu A. Adedapo2* and Margaret O.Sofidiya3

Department of Botany, University of Fort Hare, Alice 5700, South Africa. Department of Veterinary Physiology, Biochemistry and Pharmacology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. 3 Department of Pharmacognosy, University of Lagos, Nigeria.
Accepted 6 August, 2009


Malva parviflora Linn Malvaceae is a medicinal plant used for the treatment of wounds and other related ailments by theXhosa people of South Africa. The anti-inflammatory activity of the stem extract of this plant was assessed using carrageenan-induced paw oedema and histamine-induced paw oedema. The analgesic effect was determined using the acetic acid writhing method as well as formalin test. The -1 extract at 100 and 200 mgkg body weight reduced significantly, the formation of oedema induced by carrageenan andhistamine. In the acetic acid-induced writhing model, the extract showed a good analgesic effect characterized by reduction in the number of writhes when compared to the control. The extract caused dose-dependent decrease of licking time and licking frequency in rats injected with 2.5% formalin, signifying its analgesic effect. These results were also comparable to those of indomethacin, thereference drug used in this study. Since the plant extract reduced significantly the formation of oedema induced by carrageenan and histamine as well as reduced the number of writhes in acetic acidinduced writhing models and dose-dependent decrease of licking time and licking frequency in rats injected with 2.5% formalin, it is concluded that the use of M. parviflora for the treatment of inflammedpurulent wounds, swellings, bruises and broken limbs may have been justified. Key words: Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, carrageenan, histamine, Malva parviflora INTRODUCTION Inflammation is a pathophysiological response of mammalian tissues to a variety of hostile agents including infectious organisms, toxic chemical substances, physical injury or tumor growth leading to local accumulation of plasmicfluid and blood cells (Sobota et al., 2000). Although a defense mechanism, the complex events and mediators involved in the inflammatory reaction can induce, maintain and aggravate many disorders. The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in the treatment of diseases associated with inflammatory reactions has adverse effects which pose a major problem in their clinical use. Hence,new anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs lacking such effects are being searched for as alternatives to NSAIDs. According to Kumara (2001), plant based drugs in traditional medicine are being paid much attention because of their minimal side effects, cheapness and also the fact that 80% of the world population still relies on them. Malva parviflora Linn (family: Malvaceae), a prostrate perennialherb, with a deep strong tap root system, found in Europe, has become a cosmopolitan weed species in gardens throughout South Africa and Namibia (Henderson and Anderson, 1966). The leaf of this plant is used in the treatment of boils (Grierson and Afolayan, 1999) and inflammed purulent wounds (Watt and BreyerBrandwijk) by the Xhosa people of South Africa. The poultice from its leaves is also usedto treat wounds and swellings. In Lesotho, the plant is incorporated into a lotion to treat bruises and broken limbs and the dried powder or an infusion made from the leaves and roots is used by herbalists to clean wounds and sores (Shale et al., 1999). In Ethiopia, the root of M. parviflora is used in

*Corresponding author. E-mail:


Afr. J. Biotechnol.

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