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Phytomedicine. 2002 Apr;9(3):245-8.

The anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of a crude extract of Petiveria alliacea L. (Phytolaccaceae).

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Laboratório de Farmacologia e Experimentação Animal, Instituto de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento (IP&D/CEN), Universidade do Vale do Paraíba, UNIVAP. São José dos Campos, SP, Brazil.


Petiveria alliacea L (Phytolaccaceae) is a perennial bush plant that grows widely in Brazil. The roots and leaves of P. alliacea have been used in folk medicine for their antispasmodic, sedative, diuretic and antihelminthic actions. We recently described the anti-inflammatory properties of P. alliacea administered topically and orally in different animal models. In the present study, we investigated the anti-inflammatory activity of a crude lyophilized extract of P. alliacea roots administered to rats with pleurisy. The oral administration of P. alliacea root extract did not significantly reduce the total number of leukocytes at the doses tested. By contrast, the highest dose of extract tested (43.9 mg/kg body wt.) significantly reduced the number of migrating neutrophils, mononuclear cells and eosinophils; the dose of 31.4 mg/kg body wt. also reduced mononuclear cell migration. The P. alliacea root extract also showed a significant analgesic effect in the experimental model used. The results of this study provide a basis for the use of P. alliacea extracts in popular folk medicine, but further studies are necessary to elucidate the mechanism of its anti-inflammatory and analgesic actions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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