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Contribution to the study of the anti-inflammatory properties of the essential oils of Cymbopogon citratus and Eucalyptus citriodora / In vivo study in the Wistar rat

Judith Fifamin AHOUNOU student laureate

°1977 Benin
Master’s in Pharmacology, Université d’Abomey-Calavi, Benin, 2001

Contribution à l'étude des propriétés anti-inflammatoires des huiles essentielles de Cymbopogon citratus et d'Eucalyptus citriodora/ Etude in vivo chez le rat Wistar

Cymbopogon citratus and Eucalyptus citriodora are found in numerous locations in Benin. Their etheric oils can be used in medicine and pharmaceutics, as well as in the production of soap and cosmetics. In this work the anti-inflammatory properties of these oils are studied in the Wistar rat. In the first instance their chemical composition was examined by means of gas chromatography. This is important for the characterization of the test object. The oils were then orally administered to Wistar rats in increasing doses, in order to determine the toxic threshold. Their anti-inflammatory properties were examined in a preventative and curative experiment. Their analgesic and antipyretic action was also compared with that of aspirin. Finally, the rats’ mobility after administering of the oils was observed. In conclusion it can be stated that these oils have anti-inflammatory properties comparable to those of salicylates. It can be inferred from the toxicity tests that oral doses of three drops, three times per day, are not dangerous for an average adult individual. The work was rigorously carried out with none the less simple means.
This study is relevant to development in several areas. On one hand, public health in developing countries is greatly availed by the search for effective medicines from a botanical source. They are indeed a cheap alternative to medicines obtained from a synthetic source. Certainly there is still enormous botanical potential available in developing countries and this biodiversity can be further exploited. The sports world can also make advantageous use of these anti-inflammatory products. There is, furthermore, an economic factor, for these plants can be cultivated in very simple ways and the essential oils extracted for conversion into pharmaceutical forms suitable for administering at an acceptable price, thus appreciating the incomes of the people and the country.

report by Prof. Dr. Ann Van Schepdael, Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Drug Analysis, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium