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Mol Biol Rep. 2013 Feb;40(2):1127-34. doi: 10.1007/s11033-012-2155-1. Epub 2012 Oct 14.

Phytochemical composition of Cymbopogon citratus and Eucalyptus citriodora essential oils and their anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties on Wistar rats.

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Laboratoire de Pharmacognosie et des Huiles Essentielles, Faculté des Sciences de la Santé, Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Université d'Abomey Calavi, 01 BP 918, Cotonou, Benin.


Cymbopogon citratus and Eucalyptus citriodora are widely used herbs/plants as a source of ethnomedicines in tropical regions of the world. In this work, we studied the anti-inflammatory and gastroprotective effects of C. citratus and E. citriodora essential oils on formol-induced edema, and acetic acid induced abdominal cramps in Wistar rats. To fully understand the chemically induced anti-inflammatory properties of these plants, we first analyzed the chemical composition of the essential oils. A total of 16 chemical constituents accounting for 93.69 % of the oil, were identified in C. citratus among which, Geranial (27.04 %), neral (19.93 %) and myrcene (27.04 %) were the major constituents. For E. citriodora, 19 compounds representing 97.2 % of the extracted oil were identified. The dominant compound of E. citriodora essential oil was citronellal (83.50 %). In vivo analysis and histological assay showed that the two essential oils displayed significant dose dependent edema inhibition effect over time. They displayed strong analgesic and antipyretic properties similar to that induced by 50 mg/kg of acetylsalicylate of lysine. However, the E. citriodora essential oil was more effective than that of C. citratus. We identified significant numbers of aldehyde molecules in both essential oils mediating antioxidant activity that may contribute to the anti-inflammatory effects observed on the rats. Altogether, this work demonstrates the anti-inflammatory property of C. citratus and E. citriodora suggesting their potential role as adjuvant therapeutic alternatives in dealing with inflammatory-related diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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