Aim: The principle objective of the study was to explore the anti-arthritic properties of Acmella uliginosa (AU) (Sw.) Cass. flower in a rat model and to identify potential anti-inflammatory compounds derived from flower extracts. The synergistic role played by a combination of AU flower and Aloe vera (AV) gel crude extracts was also investigated. Materials and Methods: Male Wistar rats induced with Freund’s complete adjuvant (FCA) were used as a disease model of arthritic paw swelling. There were three experimental and two control groups, each consisting of five rats. Paw circumference and serum biochemical parameters were evaluated to investigate the role of the flower extracts in disease amelioration through a feeding schedule spanning 21 days. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analyses were performed to search for the presence of anti-inflammatory compounds in the ethanolic and n-hexane solvent extracts of the flower. Results: As a visual cue to the experimental outcomes, FCA-induced paw swelling decreased to the normal level; and hemoglobin, serum protein, and albumin levels were significantly increased in the treated animals. The creatinine level was estimated to be normal in the experimental rats after the treatment. The combination
of AU and AV showed the best recovery potential in all the studied parameters, confirming the synergistic efficacy of the herbal formulation. GC/MS analyses revealed the presence of at least 5 anti-inflammatory compounds including 9-octadecenoic acid (Z)-, phenylmethyl ester, astaxanthin, à-N-Normethadol, fenretinide that have reported anti-inflammatory/anti-arthritic properties. Conclusion: Our findings indicated that the crude flower homogenate of AU contains potential anti-inflammatory compounds which could be used as an anti-inflammatory/anti-arthritic medication.
Key words: Freund’s Complete Adjuvant, rheumatoid arthritis, Aloe vera