Effect of Calendula officinalis flower extract was investigated against experimentally induced thermal burns in rats. Burn injury was made on the shaven back of the rats under anesthesia and the animals were treated orally with different doses of the flower extract (20 mg, 100 mg and 200 mg/kg body weight). The animals treated with the extract showed significant improvement in healing when compared with the control untreated animals. The indicators of the wound healing such as collagen-hydroxyproline and hexosamine contents were significantly increased in the treated group indicating accelerated wound healing in the treated animals. The acute phase proteins-haptoglobin and orosomucoid which were increased due to burn injury were found to be decreased significantly in 200 mg/kg body weight extract treated animals. The antioxidant defense mechanism, which was decreased in the liver during burn injury, was found to be enhanced in treated animals. The lipid peroxidation was significantly lowered in the treated group when compared to control animals. Tissue damage marker enzymes- alkaline phosphatase, alanine and aspartate transaminases were significantly lowered in the treated groups in a dose dependant manner. The histopathological analyses of skin tissue also give the evidence of the increased healing potential of the extract after burn injury.
Keywords: Calendula officinalis; acute phase proteins; antioxidant enzymes; granuloma tissue; thermal injury.