Gerald Walter Ugodi, Rejoicing Chijindum Innocenta and Ugwu Agatha Adora
Ficus umbellata is an evergreen tree species originating from Africa, it is often grown for the leaves which serve traditionally for the treatment of various diseases, including inflammatory diseases. Despite the traditional use of Ficus umbellata in the treatment of inflammatory disorders, there is a lack of scientific evidence to support its anti-inflammatory properties. The research aims to evaluate the in vitro anti-inflammatory activity of the crude extract of Ficus umbellata to provide a potential new source of natural anti-inflammatory agents. The extraction was carried out by cold maceration using methanol. The extract was qualitatively assessed for the presence of major phytochemical constituents using standard analytical phytochemical screening procedure. Acute toxicity study was carried out by Lorke's method and the anti-inflammatory evaluation was done using anti-platelet aggregatory activity and stabilization of human red blood cell membrane tests. The percentage yield was 8.15%. The phytochemical constituents present in the extract were alkaloids, phytosteroids, phenolic compounds, terpenoids, flavonoids, tannins, saponins, steroids, quinones, and triterpenoids. Acute toxicity evaluation indicated no death even at 5000 mg/kg dose. The results showed that the mechanism of anti-inflammatory activity of the crude and fractions of Ficus umbellata might be by inhibition of platelet aggregation, but not by stabilizing the red blood cells. The methanol extract and the fractions significantly at (p< 0.05) have an inhibitory effect on platelet aggregation in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, it is not as effective as aspirin in inhibiting platelet aggregation.
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