Anti-Inflammatory Activity of the Leaf of Lippia alba


D. Saha1*, D. Mridha2, B. Biswal2, A. Koley2, D. Sur2, S.B. Jana3 and A. Bhattacharya4

1School of Pharmacy, Chouksey Engineering College, Lal Khadan, Masturi Road Bilaspur- 495004, C.G.              

2Bharat Technology, Banitabla, Uluberia, Howrah-711316

               3Calcutta Institute of Pharmaceutical Technology and Allied Health Sciences, Banitabla, Uluberia, Howrah-711316

               4Glenmark Pharmaceutical, Plot No. D-508, (TTC Industrial Area), Manape,  Mumbai-400705

*Corresponding Author E-mail:



The extraction of the leaf of Lippia alba, family Verbenaceae was carried out using petroleum ether, chloroform, ethanol and water in succession. The extracts were evaluated for anti-inflammatory activity.  The chloroform extract showed significant anti-inflammatory activity.


KEYWORDS: Carrageenan, vernier calliper, intra-peritonially, Student’s t-test.




It is fast growing with a mounding habit and gives lavender blossoms. Lippia alba1 is cultivated in the warm region mainly of Latin America, stretching from Mexico to Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia as well as India.  The shrub, which is very aromatic is normally 1 to 1.5 meters of height but can reach up to 2 meters. Leaves are opposite or ternadas, ovadas or ovado-oblongas, cortamente pecioladas, sawn, from 2 to 2.5 cm. wide and up to 3cm. long. Flowers are also small, purplish or pink, scented, in dense capitates or sub capitates spikes. Fruits are globose and dry. The leaf is used as remedies for stomach problems, dysentery, cold and cough, febrifuge as well as sedative and in spasmolytic remedies. It is also used as anti hemorrhoids and anti asthma2,3,4. Reported phytoconstituents include linalool in the leaf essential oil of Lippia alba5, geranial (15.57%), an unrecoverable mixture of myrthenol and myrthenal (90.89%), neral (9.44%), geraniol (7.36%), 2, 6 –octadien -1-ol, 3,7- dimethyl acetate (6.87%), 1-octene -3-ol (4.66%),  6- methyl -5- hepton -2- one (4.60%), caryophylleneoxide (4.52%), beta-caryophyllene (3.09%), citronellol (2.63%), linalool (2.20%), 3- Pinene -2-ol (2.19%), beta-myrcene (1.49%) farnesol (1.35%), and spathulenol from Lippia alba6.


Many pharmacological activities viz. anti convulsion activity of essential oil of Lippia alba7, antiviral activity of the ethyl acetate extract against two viruses, Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and polio virus types 2 (PV-2) of Lippia alba8, analgesic property of the 50% aqueous ethanolic extract at low temperature of Lippia alba9, anti ulcerogenic activity of Lippia alba10, anti-oxidant and neurosedative properties of polyphenols and irridoids from Lippia alba11 have been reported earlier However detailed investigation of the anti inflammatory activity of it has not been carried out.



Plant Material:

The disease free fresh plant material (leaves) were collected in the month of September 2007 from Jamadarpali a place in the Sambalpur district, Orissa and authenticated at Botanical Survey of India, Shibpur, Howrah. After authentication, fresh leaves were collected in bulk from young and matured plant, shade dried, pulverized and passed through sieve no.40 to obtain coarse powder.


Preparation of the Extracts:

The powder leaves (800 gm.) were subjected to continuous hot successive extraction with petroleum ether, chloroform, ethanol in Soxhlet extractor and simple maceration with triple distilled water followed by concentrating each extract under vacuum.  (Yield: Petroleum ether – 2.54%, Chloroform – 4.00%, Ethanol - 9.72% and Aqueous - 10.33%) with respect to the dried powder plant material (leaf).  The extracts were used for the study of anti inflammatory activity in albino rats.



TABLE- 1: Anti-inflammatory Effect of the Extracts of Lippia alba on Rats

Sl. No.


Mean Paw Thickness (cm)   ±  SEM (% Inhibition)


30 MIN

60 MIN

120 MIN

180 MIN



4.77 ± 0.026

5.33 ± 0.035







4.53±0.04* (50)

4.56±0.08* (67)

4.63±0.07** (66)

4.7±0.05** (66)


Petroleum ether extract


4.95±0.06** (16.07)

5.21±0.05* (7.8)

5.4±0.03** (20)

5.6±0.03** (24)


Chloroform extract


4.7±0.08** (42)

4.81±0.06** (44.15)

4.9±0.05** (53)

4.95±0.05* (61)


Ethanol extract


4.68±0.05 (19.7)

4.81±0.35** (32.5)

4.96±0.07** (35.4)

5.1±0.05** (40)


Aqueous extract


4.91±0.06** (10.7)

5.05±0.02** (7)

5.5±0.1* (3.5)

5.7±0.05** (11)

Mean ± SEM, (n=6) “*” indicates p< 0.05 and ”**” p< 0.01.


Phytochemical Studies:

The Petroleum ether and chloroform extracts showed the presence of phytosterols. The Petroleum ether extract also showed the presence of flavonoids. The ethanolic extracts showed the presence of carbohydrates and tannins, the aqueous extracts showed the presence of carbohydrates and saponins.


Anti-inflammatory Activity:

Carrageenan induced paw edema in rats:

Rats of Wister strain were procured from Ghosh enterprises, Kolkata. Adult rats of 130-160 gm were taken and they were housed in polypropylene cages under standard conditions. They are fed with standard diet.  Anti-inflammatory activity was evaluated using carrageenan induced hind paw edema method.  Rats of either sex were divided into six groups of six animals each.  The first group was served as control and received only vehicle, second group was administered standard drug Ibuprofen I.P 100mg / kg intra peritonially.  The animals of third to sixth group were treated with petroleum ether, chloroform, ethanol and aqueous extract at a dose of 500mg/kg orally. After 30 minutes of above treatment 0.05ml of 1% w/v Carrageenan in saline was injected into sub plantar tissue of left hind paw of the animals12.


The degree of paw edema of the entire group was measured at 0, 30, 60,120 and 180 minutes by using vernier calliper after administration of carrageenan. The anti– inflammatory affect was expressed as percent inhibition of edema13. It was observed that chloroform extract at a dose of 500 mg/kg body weight showed the maximum anti inflammatory activity amongst the other extracts. The result indicated that the major component responsible for anti inflammatory may be present in chloroform extract.


Data was expressed as mean ± SEM and the statistical difference between the groups was analyzed by using Student’s t-test. The value of p<0.05 and p<0.01 was considered as statistically significant14,15.



Anti-inflammatory effect of the extracts of Lippia alba on Rats was shown in table-1.



It was observed that chloroform extract at a dose of 500mg/kg body weight showed maximum anti-inflammatory activity amongst the other extracts. 


The result indicated that the major component responsible for anti- inflammatory activity may be present in chloroform extract.



The authors are thankful to the Director, Principal and Management of School of Pharmacy, Chouksey Engineering College, Bilaspur for providing necessary facilities to carry out this work.



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Received on 02.12.2010       Modified on 17.12.2010

Accepted on 26.12.2010      © RJPT All right reserved

Research J. Pharm. and Tech. 4(4): April 2011; Page 629-630