Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Piper nigrum, Linn and Ricinus communis, Linn.


1Shrutika Patil, 1Vasanti Suvarna and 2Sushma Fulmali

1S.V.K.M'S, Dr. Bhanuben Nanavati College of Pharmacy, Mithibhai College Campus, V.M.Road. Vile Parle- (W), Mumbai - 400 056. (India), Fax: 91-022-26132905,,

2C.U.Shah College of Pharmacy, S.N.D.T Women's University, Sir Vithaldas Vidyavihar, Santacruz (West), Mumbai-400049. Fax: 91-22-2660 3968

Submitted to on 2008 March 02
Published in on 2008 March 18


Anti-Inflammatory Activity of the fruits of Piper nigrum, Linn and roots of Ricinus communis, Linn using the carrageenan induced rat paw edema method.


Inflammation is a response of vascularised living tissue to the local injury. It is    the body defense mechanism, which is closely intertwined with the process of repair. It serves to destroy or dilute the injurious agents and also reconstitute the damaged tissue by regeneration.

The severe side effects of steroidal and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug evoked us to search for new anti-inflammatory drugs from the natural botanical source. Thus, the present investigation was carried out to evaluate anti-inflammatory activity of extracts of Piper nigrum and Ricinus communis in rat paw edema method as an experimental animal model.


The drugs were authentified, powdered, and subjected to various solvent extractions using Soxhlet apparatus. The extracts were standardized and phytochemical examination was carried out using chemical and chromatographic method. The acute toxicity (LD50) was carried out for both the drug.

The anti-inflammatory activity of all the extracts were determined by using carrageenan induced rat paw edema method in comparison with aspirin as a reference synthetic anti-inflammatory drug.


The pet ether extract of Piper nigrum and Ricinus communis shows statistically significant anti- inflammatory activity than the other extract.


Piper nigrum and Ricinus communis effectively suppress the inflammation.


Inflammation, rat paw edema method, carrageenan, Piper nigrum and Ricinus communis


CITATION: Shrutika Patil, Vasanti Suvarna and Sushma Fulmali (2008 March, 2). "Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Piper nigrum, Linn and Ricinus communis, Linn." Retrieved[date viewed], from



Inflammation is a normal protective response to tissue injury caused by physical trauma, noxious chemical or microbial agents. It is the body’s response to inactivate or destroy the invading organisms, to remove irritant and set the stage for tissue repair. It is triggered by the release of chemical mediators from injured tissue and migrating cell. 1, 2 Modern research in the field of anti- inflammatory drugs is directed towards developing potent anti- inflammatory compounds with improved tolerability and reduction in other major side effects. Drugs from plant origin are used in India for treatment of many diseases in traditional system of medicine 3. Black pepper consists of dried unripe fruits of Piper nigrum Linn. It is used to treat abnormal accumulation of liquid in cellular tissue, in kidney disease, diabetes, anemia, dysentery, laxative and softener of inflamed part 4. Castor oil is derived chiefly from the seed of Ricinus communis Linn.The better and pure quality of oil is administered in the form of emulsion with mucilage in inflammatory condition of bowels. The root of the plant is also useful in nervous disorder, rheumatic conditions such as lumbago, pleurodynia and sciatica5.  The purpose of this study was to evaluate anti- inflammatory potential of methanolic, ethanolic, chloroform, ethyl acetate and pet ether extract of fruits of Piper nigrum, Linn and roots of Ricinus communis, Linn.

Materials and Methods

Plant: Thefruits of Piper nigrum (Family: Piperiaceae) were collected from local market of Kalbadevi, Mumbai and roots of Ricinus communis (Family: Euphorbeaceae) were collected from S.N.D.T. University campus, Santacruz (W), Mumbai and both the samples were authenticated by Zandu Pharmaceuticals Pvt. Limited, Dadar, Mumbai. Preparation of Extract: The collected drugs were cleaned, air dried and powdered. The dried drugs were exhaustively extracted in the soxhlet apparatus (18 hrs of extraction for each batch) using analytical grade solvent. All the extracts were concentrated in vacuo to a syrupy consistency. Preliminary Phytochemical investigation: Various chemical tests were performed on the extracts of fruits of Piper nigrum and roots of Ricinus communis to determine the presence of carbohydrates, amino acids, alkaloids, proteins, glycosides, flavoniods, phenolic compounds, fats, oils, steroids and volatile oil 6. TLC and HPTLC Study: TLC studies were carried out on various extracts of Piper nigrum and Ricinus communis. The stationary phase used was precoated silica gel GF-254 (E. Merk) aluminum plate (Thickness 200µm). Various analytical grade solvents and their combinations were used as mobile phase. The system which gave best resolution of the spots was selected for chromatographic studies. HPTLC studies were carried out to obtain the fingerprint of each extract, which gave better quantitative resolution 7. Animals:Healthy male and female Wistar Albino rats with body weight 150-250g were used for study. They were fed with standard chaw diet and water ad libitum. They were housed in polypropylene cage maintained under standard conditions (12 hrs light / 12 hrs dark cycles, 25 ± 3°, 35-60% humidity). The experimental protocol was subjected to the scrutiny of the Institutional Animal Ethics Committee and was cleared by the same before starting. Acute Toxicity Study: Healthy adult albino rats of either sex were starved overnight and divided into five groups, each containing six animals. Animals were fed per os (p.o.) with an increasing dose of 5, 50, 300, 2000 mg/kg body weight of aqueous and non aqueous extract of Ricinus communis and 5, 50, 300, 1000 mg/kg body weight of aqueous and non aqueous extract of Piper nigrum. After oral administration the animals were observed for signs of toxicity, gross behavioural changes, and mortality up to 14 days.  Evaluation of Anti- inflammatory Activity: All the extracts were evaluated for their anti- inflammatory activity by the carrageenan induced rat paw edema method. Healthy adult albino rats of either sex were divided into twelve groups of six animals each. First group received normal saline, second group received aspirin and remaining group received p.o.150 mg/kg body weight of each extract. Food was withdrawn overnight, but adequate supply of water was given to the rats before the experiment. The drugs were given orally with the help of an oral catheter. After one hour a sub plantar injection of 0.1 ml of 1% freshly prepared carrageenan was given to the left hind paw to all the animals. The paw volume was measured with help of Plethysmometer immediately after injection. The paw volume was measured after 1,2,3 and eventually after four hrs. The average fourth hour paw volume of the extract treated rats was compared with the control group and the standard drug (aspirin) group 8,9,10. Statistical analysis: Results were expressed as mean ± SEM and evaluated by Dunnett multiple comparison test. Values of P<0.001 were considered statistically significant.

Results and Discussion

Results: The extracts of fruits of Piper nigrum and roots of Ricinus communis showed significant reduction in rat paw edema volume at a dose of 150 mg/kg body weight which is comparable to standard drug aspirin.  Results are as shown in Table. Discussion: Indigenous drug system or Ayurveda can be source of variety of new drugs, which can provide relief from inflammation, but their claimed reputation has to be verified on a scientific basis. In some cases indigenous drugs may be the only answer because these drugs have minimum side effects and are easily available at low cost.  Piper nigrum and Ricinus communis on preliminary phytochemical screening showed variety of constituents like sugar, amino acid, alkaloids, saponins, tannins and some phenolic compounds. The activity might be attributed to these components. 11, 12 TLC and HPTLC study of the extracts revealed more than 5 components at 254 nm and 365 nm. Acute toxicity showed that aqueous and non-aqueous extract of Piper nigrum was safe up to 1000 mg/kg body weight and aqueous and non-aqueous extract of Ricinus communis was safe up to 2000 mg/kg body weight.  From the results it can be observed that the pet ether extracts of the fruits Piper nigrum showed statistically significant anti-inflammatory activity at the p.o. dose level of 150 mg/kg body. The pet ether extract of roots of Ricinus communis showed moderate activity at the p.o.dose level of 150 mg/kg body weight in acute anti-inflammatory model.



 The authors are thankful to C. U. Shah College of Pharmacy, SNDT Women’s University Mumbai, India for providing the necessary facilities.

Table 01

TABLE 1 Anti- Inflammatory Activity Of The Extracts Of Fruits Of Piper Nigrum, Linn And Roots Of Ricinus Communis, Linn ByUsing Carrageenan Induced Rat Paw Edema Method.

Sr.No. Treatment Mean Difference in Fourth Hour Paw Volume ± SEM %Inhibition at Fourth Hour
1 Normal Saline 1.230 ± 0.0450 -
2 Aspirin 0.673 ± 0.1560** 44.77
3 Piper nigrum methanol extract 0.826 ± 0.0674** 37.39
4 Piper nigrum ethanol extract 0.770 ± 0.0460** 34.95
5 Piper nigrum chloroform extract 0.830 ± 0.0580** 32.52
6 Piper nigrum ethyl acetate extract 0.840 ± 0.0550** 31.70
7 Piper nigrum pet ether extract 0.760 ± 0.0750** 38.48
8 Ricinus communis methanol extract 0.823 ± 0.0470** 33.33
9 Ricinus communis ethanol extract 0.880 ± 0.0907* 31.71
10 Ricinus communis chloroform extract 0.790 ± 0.0152** 35.77
11 Ricinus communis ethyl acetate extract 0.850 ± 0.0305** 30.89
12 Ricinus communis pet ether extract 0.790 ± 0.0871** 39.02
 Dose of aspirin and all extracts is 150 mg/ kg body weight*P < 0.05,   ** P < 0.001 Vs Control (Normal Saline)


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