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J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Mar 7;55(5):1718-23. Epub 2007 Feb 9.

Characterization of topical antiinflammatory compounds in Rosmarinus officinalis L.

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University of Trieste, Via A. Valerio 6, 34127 Trieste, Italy.


The topical antiinflammatory activity of three extracts at increasing polarity (n-hexane, chloroform, and methanol) from the leaves of Rosmarinus officinalis L. (Labiatae) has been tested using the croton oil ear test in mice. Both the n-hexane and the chloroform (CE-1) extracts from the leaves showed a dose-dependent activity, the last one possessing an antiinflammatory potency similar to that of indomethacin, the nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug used as a reference drug (ID50 = 83 and 93 microg/cm2, respectively). The bioassay-oriented fractionation of CE-1 led to the identification of tritepenes, ursolic acid, oleanolic acid, and micromeric acid as the main antiinflammatory principles. Furthermore, the CE-1 extract obtained from the residue of the steam distillation of the leaves (extract A) showed the same antiinflammatory potency of CE-1, suggesting this waste product as a source of antiinflammatory products.

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