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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 35-40

Physico-Phytochemical investigation and anti-inflammatory screening of capsicum annum L. and Hemidesmus indicus (Linn.) R. Br.

1 Department of chemistry, A.V.V.M. Sri Pushpam College (Autonomous), Poondi 613 503, India
2 Division of Bio-Medical Anthropology, Tribal Research Centre, Tamil University, Thanjavur-613 010, India
3 Survey of Medicinal Plants and Collection Unit (CCRH), Indira Nagar, Emerald-643 209, The Nilgiris, India
4 Siddaganga College of Pharmacy, Tumkur-572 102, Karnataka, India
5 School of Natural Product Studies, Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Jadavpur University, Kolkata-700 032, India

Date of Web Publication24-Sep-2011

Correspondence Address:
V Thirumurugan
Department of chemistry, A.V.V.M. Sri Pushpam College (Autonomous), Poondi 613 503
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 22557366

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Capsicum annum L. (Family: Solanaceae) and Hemidesmus indicus (Linn.) R.Br. (Family: Asclepiadaceae) are commonly used in Tamilnadufor treating various ailments in the native system of medicine. The hydroalcoholic extracts of both plants at dose level of 100 mg/kg body weight showed demonstrable anti-inflammatory activity in the carrageenan-induced hind paw model in rats. Nevertheless, the overall anti-inflammatory activity exhibited by the extracts are found to be less as compared with that of standard drug Indometacin. Preliminary physico-phytochemical analysis of the plants in question were attempted. The results are highlighted and discussed.

Keywords: Capsicum annum L., Hemidesmus indicus (Linn.)R.Br, Physico-phytochemical characters, anti-inflammatory activity, carrageenan-induced hind paw edema rat model, ethnomedicine

How to cite this article:
Vijayalakshmi K, Shyamala R, Thirumurugan V, Sethuraman M, Rajan S, Badami S, Mukherjee PK. Physico-Phytochemical investigation and anti-inflammatory screening of capsicum annum L. and Hemidesmus indicus (Linn.) R. Br. Ancient Sci Life 2010;29:35-40

How to cite this URL:
Vijayalakshmi K, Shyamala R, Thirumurugan V, Sethuraman M, Rajan S, Badami S, Mukherjee PK. Physico-Phytochemical investigation and anti-inflammatory screening of capsicum annum L. and Hemidesmus indicus (Linn.) R. Br. Ancient Sci Life [serial online] 2010 [cited 2023 Mar 31];29:35-40. Available from: https://www.ancientscienceoflife.org/text.asp?2010/29/4/35/85387

  Introduction Top

Capsicum annum L. (Fam. Solanaceae) is known as Raktamaricha in Sanskrit and Milagai in Tamil. It is an annual shrub with many angular branches, leaves are simple, flowers white or violet in clusters. It is cultivated throughout the year in both tropical and temperate regions. The plant shows intensified flowering and fruiting during March and May and this period is considered quite appropriate for the collection of plant specimens.

The fruits are useful in cephalgia, gout, arthritis, seiatica, anorexia, dyspepsia, flatulence, cough, cardiac debility, malaria and intermittent fevers, cholera, indolent fevers and other vitiated conditions of Kapha [1] .

Hemidesmus indicus (Linn.) R.Br. (Family: Asclepiadaceae) is a prostrate woody, perennial herb with simple leaves. Flowers are greenish on the outerside and purple on the innerside. Roots are dark brown and have pleasant taste and smell. This plant is represented by single genus and single species (Monogenetic). It is a wild plant showing intensified flowering during November to February and time of collection of root was done during months of September October.

It is known as Sariba in Sanskrit and Nannari in Tamil. The roots are useful for treating vitiated conditions of Pitta, burning sensation, Leukoderma, Leprosy, skin diseases, asthma, bronchitis, hemicrania, epilepsy, helminthiasis, diarrhea and haemorrhoids, syphilis, fever and inflammation. [1]

The medicinal properties C. annum L. and H. indicus(Linn.)R.Br., are well explored. [2],[3] A comprehensive review on plants showing anti-inflammatory activity was attempted by earlier workers who stated that inflammation was termed as King of Miseries. [4],[5]

Capsicum annum L. leaves and fruits are used for abortion and to correct menstrual disorders by some tribal communities of India and H. indicus (Linn.) R.Br., root is useful for treating sexual disorders and impotence. [6] H. root is useful for anti-ulcerogenic [7] , C. annum L., fruit powder is mixed with honey and applied to site of dog bite to check hydrophobia in cattle. [8] C. annum L., fruit powder is mixed with coconut oil and warmed up. This mixture is applied as a remedy for ear problems by Irulas of The Nilgiris and H. root is chewed as a remedy for urinary problems by them. [9] H. root paste is applied to cure skin problems. [10] H. indicus (Linn.) R.Br., roots confers protection from Rifampicin and isoniazid induced hepato toxicity. [11]

Iflammation is a tissue-reaction to infection, irrintation to foreign substance and forms an integral part of host defense mechanism. Inflammation which was recognized as a simple allergic reaction for many decades is currently being considered to underlie pathophysiology of a much broader spectrum of diseases. [12] There are four cardinal signs of inflammatory conditions and they are redness (rubor), heat (calor), swelling (tumor) and pain (dolar). [13]

There are several tissue factors or mechanisms that are known to the implicated in the inflammatory reactions such as histamine, bradykinin, and prostaglandins [14] and inflammation is a homeostatic phenomenon. The following documented research data in regard to plants under study deserve a mention here [15],[16],[17],[18],[19] .

In the light of skimpy data on anti-inflammatory potential of above plants used in traditional system of medicine, the present work was undertaken to screen anti-inflammatory potential of the study plants to throw more light in this direction. Hence, this present work to supplement additional information on the topic.

  Materials and Methods Top

(A) Collection of plant materials

The fruits of Capsicum annum L., androots of Hemidesmus indicus(Linn.)R.Br, were collected during the months of March and April from the forest areas located in and around Thanjavur district. The collected specimens were authenticated by a Botanist (SR) by comparing them with Regional Herbarium of Botanical survey of India, Coimbatore. The Voucher specimens were deposited in the herbarium of Survey of Medicinal plants and Collection Unit (CCRH), Ooty as well as in the herbarium of Dept. of Botany, A.V.V.M. Sri Pushpam College, Poondi for future reference. The work was carried out in the Dept. of Pharmacology, Periyar College of Pharmaceutical sciences, Tiruchirapalli 620 021 (T.N). The clearance of animal ethical committee has been obtained from the college.

The samples were washed with distilled water and dried under shade, mechanically pounded to get coarse powder and passed through 40 number sieve meshes. The sample powders were processed in such a way that they are suitable for both powder studies and phytochemical analysis.

(B) Preparation of extracts [20],[21]

The coarse powder 150 grams of the given samples were extracted with 600 ml of ethanol (95%) by continuous hot percolation using Soxhlet apparatus until the completion of extraction procedure. The successive extractions were done separately for each solvent namely Chloroform, Ethanol, Ether, Benzene, Hexane and water. The powder solvent ratio employed for the present study was 1:4. On completion, the extracts were filtered and the solvents were removed by distillation and dried under reduced pressure and controlled temperature 50°-60°. They were refrigerated until use. Both fruit and root powder samples were subjected to various analyses such as organoleptic characters [22] , fluorescence studies [23] , physico-chemical properties [24] , preliminary phytochemical screening [25],[26] . The anti-inflammatory activity of the hydroalcoholic extracts was evaluated as described below.

Animal studies

Albino rats of either sex weighing 150 to 200 g belonging to Wistar strain were used in this study. The animals were procured from a registered animal dealer of the College (Sri Venkateswara Enterprises, Bangalore). The rat pellet feed was also supplied by the same firm (Hindustan Lever Company). The animals were acclimatized to the laboratory condition by subjecting them to dark and light cycles for 12 hours period before commencement of work. All the animals were given food and water ad libitum.

Evaluation of anti-inflammatory activity [27]

  • Group I served as control (5 ml/kg Normal Saline)
  • Group II received hydro alcoholic extract of C. annum fruit (100 mg/kg body weight)
  • Group III received hydro alcoholic extract of H. indicus root (100 mg/kg body weight)
  • Group IV served as reference standard drug (10 mg/kg b.w).

0.1 ml of 1 per cent w/v carrageenan solution in normal saline was injected to all the groups. Carrageenan is a sulphated polysaccharide obtained from sea weed (Rhodophyta). It causes inflammation by releasing histamine, 5HT, bradykinins and prostaglandins that produce inflammation and Oedema. The extracts were administered orally by using a catheter. Indomethacin reference drug was given orally.

After one hour of the administration of drugs, 0.1 per cent w/v carrageenan solution in normal saline was injected to the sub plantar tissue of the left hind paw of the rat and the right hind paw served as normal. The paw volumes of the rats were measured using the Digital Plethysmograph (Ugo basile, Italy) at intervals of 0 min, 30, 60, 120 min and 180 min [Figure 1] and [Figure 2].
Figure 1: Carrageenan solution injected in the albino rat

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Figure 2: After Carrageenan induced in left Paw of albino rat

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The mean paw oedema volume of the extract treated groups was compared both with control group and the standard drug Indomethacin treated groups. Thus, oedema volume in control (Vc) and extract treated groups (Vt) was computed. The percentage inhibition was calculated using the formula as shown below.


Vc-Edema volume of control group

Vt Edema volume of test group

The results are tabulated and analysed using student's 't' test to know the level of statistical significance.

Statistical analysis

All the values represent the mean and standard error of six animals. The student unpaired 't' test was employed for examining the statistical significance at 1% and 5% probability levels.

  Result and Discussion Top

[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4] and [Table 5] narrate the results of physico-phytochemical data on the fruit (Capsicum annum L.) and root (Hemidesmus indicus (Linn.) R.Br.). Both are characterized by rough texture. The fruit appears yellow in colour and root light green. C. annum L., fruits possess hot taste with pungent irritating odour. H. indicus (Linn.) R.Br., root has aroma and palatability These powders when viewed under U.V. light at 365 nm appear yellowish red (Capsicum) and brown (Hemidesmus) (No photographic evidence are provided here). Under normal light, they are yellow and light brown respectively. After treating with various chemical reagents, they displayed wide-ranging colour variations.
Table 1: Organoleptic characters

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Table 2: Fluorescence properties of study samples

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Table 3: Extractive values for samples in different solvent systems

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Table 4: Physico-chemcial properties of samples

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Table 5: Phytochemical constituents of samples

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The ethanol extraction values are higher for the fruit and root samples (31.09%). The root records higher water extractive value than fruit indicating the presence of more water soluble constituents in it. Except the moisture content value fruits exhibit consistently higher values for total ash, insoluble ash and mineral contents. Preliminary phytochemial screening showed the presence of glycosides, phytosterols, saponins, tannins and phenolic compounds, proteins and free amino acids fats and volatile oils in the root. Fruits contain alkaloids, carbohydrates phytosterols and volatile oils. The distinctive absence of flavonoids in the fruit and root samples of the study plants is noteworthy feature here.

[Table 6] shows the results of anti-inflammatory screening of extracts which the revealed good anti-inflammatory potentials of hydroalcoholic extracts of C. annum L., (fruits) and H. indicus (Linn.) R.Br., (roots) in the carrageenan induced hind paw oedema model used here. Inflammation caused by carrageenan, an Inflamimogen was significantly reduced by the two extracts (P<.001). At the same oral dose levels of 100mg/kg b.w of fruit and root given, root showed enhanced anti-inflammatory activity than fruit which was evident from their respective percent inhibition values in comparison with control (P<0.001). However, the overall anti-inflammatory activities of the extracts was found to be less than that of standard drug Indometacin. This preliminary finding awaits further studies on a larger set of data at different dose levels and in various models of inflammation to comment further on this trend.
Table 6: Effect of hydroalcoholic extractson carrageenan-induced hind paw edema in rats

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It has been reported [27],[28] that edema which results after carrageenan inflammation is a biphasic event. The initial phase is attributed to the release of histamine and serotonin. The edema maintained in the interval of first and second phase is due to Kinin like substances. The second phase is believed to be accelerated by substances like prostaglandins. Many workers opine that the second phase of edema is very sensitive to drugs like hydrocortisone, phenylbutazone and Indomethacin.

To sum up, it can be concluded the two extracts under study possess significant anti-inflammatory activity at a dose of 100 mg/kg b.w in the model chosen for this work.

  Acknowledgement Top

The author (VT) is thankful to the Secretary and Correspondent, A.V.V.M Sri Pushpam College (Autonomous), Poondi, Thanjavur district for his interest in this work. MS is grateful to Dr. M. Rajendran, Vice-chancellor, Tamil University, Thanjavur for his valuable support to this work. SR exquisitely thanks the Director, Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy, NewDelhiforencouragement.

  References Top

1.Varier, P.S. Indian Medicinal Plants, Orient Longmann, Chennai, Vol.1 and 3, pp.375-376 and 141-145(1994-95).  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Kirtikar, K.R. and Basu, B.D. Indian Medicinal Plants, Periodical Experts Book Agency, Delhi (1975).  Back to cited text no. 2
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4.Chatterjee, G.K. and Pal, S.P, Search for anti­inflammatory agents from Indian medicinal plants, Indian Drugs, 21,413 (1984).  Back to cited text no. 4
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7.Anoop, A. and Jagadeesan, M. Biochemical studies on the anti-ulcerogenic potential of Hemidesmus indicus. R.Br. J. Ethnopharmacology, 84,149-156 (2003).  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Lalit Tiwari and Pande, P.C., Ethnoveterinary plants of Uttarakashi district, Uttaranchal, India. Ethnobotany, 18,139-144,(2006).  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Rajan, S., Medico-ethnobiological studies on the Irulas and Paniyas of the Nilgiri district, Tamil Nadu, India, Ph.D. Thesis, Tamil University, Tanjore, India, Unpublished (2002).  Back to cited text no. 9
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11.Prabhakaran, M., Anandan, R. and Devaki, T, Protective effect of H. indicus against Rifampicin and Isoniazid induced hepatotoxicity in Rats. Fitoterapia, 71(1), 55-59, (2000).  Back to cited text no. 11
12. Plytycz, B., Seljeild, R., From Inflammation to sickness: Historical perspectives. Arch. Immunol. Therapeutics Exp., 51,105-109(2003).  Back to cited text no. 12
13.Ebert, R.H. In: The Imflammatory Process Zwerthak. L. Grant and R.T Mechulsky (Eds.) Academic Press, New York, p.5 (1965).  Back to cited text no. 13
14.Kulkarni, S.K., Hand Book of Experimental Pharmacology, Vallabh Prakashan, Delhi, 53-54, (1993).  Back to cited text no. 14
15.Bonta, I.L., In: Hand book of Experimental Pharmacology G.V.R. Born, A. Rarah, H. Herkan and H.D. Welch (Eds.) Springer-Verlag, Berlin, p.523, (1977).  Back to cited text no. 15
16.Rabish Chandra, Indra Narayanan Kuiri and Jyothikumar, Ethnomedicinal Plants of Bag Mundi Puralia district (W.B). In: Proceedings on the International Conference on Promotion Development of Botanicals with international coordination (Ed.), Pulok, K., Mukherjee, Allied Book Agency, Kolkata, 262-265 (2005).  Back to cited text no. 16
17.Octi, T, Takashi, Y., Kogure, K. and Yamauti, I., Anti­oxidant activity of new Capsaicin derivative from Capsicum annum. J. Natural Products, 66(8), 1094-1096,(2003).  Back to cited text no. 17
18.Roy, S.K., Ali, M.A., Sharma, M.P and Ramachandran, R., Phytochemical investigations of Hemidesmus indicus R.Br roots. Indian J. Chemists, 41B(11), 2390-2394, (2002).  Back to cited text no. 18
19.Seetharayan, Y.N., GuruRaj Chalageri, Haleshi, C. and Vijay, Folk Medicine and Ethnomedicine of North Eastern Karnataka. Ethnobotany, 11(1-2), 32-27, (1999).  Back to cited text no. 19
20.Kokate, C.K., Practical Pharmacognosy, Vallabh Prakashan, New Delhi, (1986).  Back to cited text no. 20
21.Trease, GE. and Evans, W.C., Pharmacognosy, 12 ed. ELBS publications, 49-248, (1989).]  Back to cited text no. 21
22.Wallis, TE. Text Book of Pharmacognosy, 3 rd ed., CBS Publishers and Distributors, New Delhi, (1985).  Back to cited text no. 22
23.Chase, C.R. and Pratt, R.S., Fluorescence of powdered vegetable drugs with particular reference to development of a system of identification. J. American Pharmaceutical Association, 38,324-331 (1949).  Back to cited text no. 23
24.Anonymous, The Indian Pharmacoepia 2° Ed. Government of India Publications, New Delhi, (1965).  Back to cited text no. 24
25.Tyler, V.E., Brady, C.R., Roberts, J.E., Pharmacognosy, Lea and Febriger Publishers, Philadelphia, (1985).  Back to cited text no. 25
26.Kokate, CK., Purohit, A.P. and Ghokale, S.B. Pharmacognosy, 5 ed. Nirali Prakashan, Pune, 119,(1997).  Back to cited text no. 26
27.Winter, CA., Risley, EA. and Nuss, GW. Carrageenan-induced hind paw edema. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med., Ill, 544-547,(1962).  Back to cited text no. 27
28.Vinegar, R., Schreiber, W. and Hygo, R., Biphasic development of Carrageenan edema in rats. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Therapeutics, 166(1), 96-103, (1969).  Back to cited text no. 28


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6]


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