The crude methanolic extract (MeOH) and its partitioned fractions (ethyl acetate and butanol) of leaves of Senna alata were investigated for its anti-inflammatory activity using carrageenan-induced rat paw oedema model. The results showed that ethyl acetate (EtOAc) and butanol (BuOH) fractions (100mg/kg) were able to significantly (p≤0.05) reduce paw oedema volume (1.16±0.04 and 0.75±0.01 ml) respectively when compared to 0.09% saline control (1.62±0.07 ml) at the 3rd h. However, the administration of crude methanolic extract (MeOH) and partitioned fractions (EtOAc and BuOH) of the plant leaves at doses of 10 and 100mg/kg exhibited varying degrees of anti-inflammatory activities with BuOH and EtOAc fractions (100mg/kg) inducing maximum inhibitory effects i.e. 75.16 and 40.52 % respectively as compared to standard anti-inflammatory drug Indomethacin i.e. 81.70% (10mg/kg) during the 3 h post carrageenan injection. The BuOH fraction also recorded the highest mean percent inhibition as 78.36% followed by EtOAc (58.21%) and MeOH (20.89%) at 100mg/kg as compared to Indomethacin (79.59%) at a dose of 10mg/kg after four hours of carrageenan injection. Generally, BuOH fraction was found to be most potent inhibitor of oedema formation at the 3rd h. The anti-inflammatory actions of the crude methanolic extract (MeOH) and partitioned fractions (EtOAc and BuOH) of leaves of S. alata may be due to an inhibitory effect on mediators of inflammation. Thus the results obtained indicate that crude methanolic extract (MeOH) and partitioned fractions (EtOAc and BuOH) possess anti-inflammatory effect and these explicate justification of the use of this plant in the treatment of inflammatory disease conditions.
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