The aim of this study was to investigate the anti-inflammatory potential of an ethanolic root extract (ERE) of Ixora coccinea, Linn (Rubiaceae) in rats by oral administration (500, 1000 and 1500 mg/kg). This was carried out by using carrageenan induced paw edema (acute inflammatory model) and cotton pellet granuloma tests (chronic inflammatory model). In the former all the doses of ERE tested caused a significant (p < 0.05 to 0.001) and marked reduction in paw edema (28-59%) compared to control at each time point measured. Overall, this anti-inflammatory effect seemed dose related. Indomethacin also impaired the edema formation, but this anti-inflammatory effect was much stronger (77-90%). In the latter test, ERE caused a significant (p < 0.05) and marked inhibition (36.1%) of granuloma weight as compared to control (control vs. treatment: 29.2±9.6 vs. 18.6±7.1 mg). Collectively, these data show promising anti-inflammatory activity against both acute and chronic inflammation. ERE induced a significant (p < 0.05) and profound impairment by (42.6%) of the area of wheal formed by the subcutaneous injection of histamine was comparable to that produced by Chlorpheniramine. It also showed promising antioxidant activity compared to Butylated hydroxyl toluene (BHT) as control and dose dependent (r2 =0.9; p < 0.05) that can account for its anti-inflammatory potential. In addition, inhibition of prostaglandins and bradykinins may play a role.
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