12. Analgesic Activity of Sphaeranthus indicus Linn

P. Malairajan1*, G. Venu Babu2, A. Saral2, S. Mahesh2, Gitanjali2
  1. ROFEL Shri G. M. Bilakhia College of Pharmacy, Vapi (West)-396 191, Gujarat State, India
  2. S. R. M. College of Pharmacy, Kattankulathur-603 203, Kancheepuram District, Tamil Nadu, India
Corresponding Author: P. Malairajan E-mail: [email protected]
Received: 12 September 2011 Accepted: 28 July 2012
Citation: P. Malairajan*, G. Venu Babu, A. Saral, S.Mahesh, Gitanjali “Analgesic Activity ofSphaeranthus indicus Linn” Int. J. Drug Dev. & Res.,October-December 2012, 4(4): 130-132.
Copyright: © 2012 IJDDR, P. Malairajan et al.This is an open access paper distributed under thecopyright agreement with Serials Publication, whichpermits unrestricted use, distribution, andreproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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The ethanol extracts of the whole plant Sphaeranthus indicus Linn. (ALSI) (Compositae) was tested for analgesic activity by tail immersion method in rat models. The test extracts were tested at 250 mg and 500 mg/kg body weight. The analgesic activity was assessed by keeping pentazocine 10 mg/kg as standard drug. The parameters studied were tail withdrawal reflex and percentage protection. In tail immersion method ALSI pretreatment caused significant increase in analgesic activity and percentage protection found was 66.6 and 67.4 respectively. The result suggested that ALSI possess significant and dose dependent analgesic activity.

Key words

Analgesic activity, tail immersion, Sphaeranthus indicus


Sphaeranthus indicus Linn. (S. hirtus willd.) (SI) commonly called as East Indian Globe Thistle belonging to compositae (Hindi-mundi & Tamilkottakkarantai) which is widely distributed in India. The plant is used in traditional system of medicine in epilepsy, juice of the plant used in jaundice, hepatopathy and gastropathy. A parts of the herb mixed with oil is good for pruritus and painful swellings. The roots are bitter, acrid, sweet, thermogenic, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge and stomachic. It is also useful in diabetes, hernia, haemorrhoids, helminthiasis and dyspepsia. Oil prepared by using the root is useful in scrofula. The powdered leaf is good for skin diseases and is considered as a nervine tonic. [1,2,3] Phytochemical studies reported the presence of sesquiterpenes [4], eudesmenolide and costic acid [5], 8-D-glucoside of (24 S)-24-ethylcholesta-5, 22-diene-3 8-ol [6], cyclopeptide alkaloids [7], 7-hydroxydesmonolides [8], and Isoflavone glycoside [9]. The pharmacological studies reported in this plant are antimicrobial activity [10], and immunostimulant activity of sesquiterpene glycoside [11].
However no study has been reported to reveal the analgesic property. Hence present study was under taken to evaluate analgesic activity by tail immersion method in rats.

Materials and methods

Plant Material

Pharmacognostically identified Sphaeranthus indicus Linn. (whole plant) was collected from waste lands near chennai in the month of May 2004 and identified by Dr. P. Jayaraman, Ph. D., Plant anatomy research centre, West Tambaram, Chennai- 600 045. The specimen voucher was deposited in S. R. M College of Pharmacy.

Preparation of Extract

The S. indicus whole plants were shade dried, powdered and extracted by maceration with 70% ethanol at room temperature for 24 h. Then the extract was concentrated using rotary vacuum evaporator to get the solid mass. The yield obtained was 7.5%. The extract, was suspended in 12% Tween 80 for analgesic acivity.

Animals used

Wistar albino rats of either sex were obtained from Tamilnadu Veterinary College and Research Institute, Chennai. The animals were maintained in colony cages at 25 ± 2 ºC, relative humidity 50-55% maintained under 12 h light and dark cycle (06 to 18 h light; 18 to 06 h dark). The animals were fed with standard animal feed (Hindustan Lever Ltd.) and water ad libitum. All the animals were acclimatized to the laboratory conditions prior to experimentation. Acute toxicity study was performed for the extracts to ascertain safe dose by acute oral toxic class method of Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, as per 423 guidelines (OECD) [12].

Analgesic activity (Tail immersion method)

The procedure is based on the observation that morphine-like drugs are selectively prolonging the reaction time of the typical tail-withdrawal reflex in rats induced by immersing the end of the tail in warm water of 55 °C. Control rats were treated with vehicle (12% Tween 80, 1 ml/kg) [13]. Pentazocine was used as positive control (10 mg/kg) and ALSI was administered (250 and 500mg/kg, i. p). The tailwithdrawal reflex was recorded before and after 15, 30, 60 and 120 minutes following intraperitoneal administration of the extract to different groups.

Statistical Analysis

The statistical analysis of all the result was carried out using one-way ANOVA followed by Dunnets multiple comparisons using graph pad in stat 3 and all the results obtained in the study were compared with the vehicle control group.

Results and Discussion

Tail immersion method is considered to be selective for opioid like compounds in several animal species [14]. The results are recorded in Table 1. The tail withdrawal reflexes in seconds were noted. The analgesic activity showed dose dependent activity. Preliminary phytochemical studies revealed the presence of flavanoids, terpenoids and alkaloids. The analgesic activity may be due to the presence of the above chemicals. However further study is required to isolate the active chemicals responsible for the activity.

Tables at a glance

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Table 1


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