Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Capsicum baccatum: from traditional use to scientific approach

J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Jan 6;139(1):228-33. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2011.11.005. Epub 2011 Nov 9.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Peppers from Capsicum species (Solanaceae) are native to Central and South America, and are commonly used as food and also for a broad variety of medicinal applications.

Aim of the study: The red pepper Capsicum baccatum var. pendulum is widely consumed in Brazil, but there are few reports in the literature of studies on its chemical composition and biological properties. In this study the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of Capsicum baccatum were evaluated and the total phenolic compounds and flavonoid contents were determined.

Materials and methods: The antioxidant property was assayed by scavenging abilities using DPPH and the anti-inflammatory activity was tested through the carrageenan-induced pleurisy model in mice. The total phenolic compounds and flavonoid contents were determined spectrophotometrically.

Results: The ethanolic and butanol extracts (200mg/kg, p.o.) presented a significant anti-inflammatory activity toward carrageenan-induced pleurisy model in mice in comparison to dexamethasone (0.5mg/kg, s.c.). Among the parameters evaluated, the treatment with these samples inhibited leukocyte migration and reduced the formation of exudate. The contents of flavonoids and total phenolic compounds could be correlated with the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities observed for Capsicum baccatum.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that Capsicum baccatum contains potential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds which could be tested as drug candidates against oxidative and inflammation-related pathological processes in medicinal chemistry studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 1-Butanol / chemistry
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / isolation & purification
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Capsicum* / chemistry
  • Carrageenan
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Female
  • Flavonoids / chemistry
  • Flavonoids / isolation & purification
  • Flavonoids / therapeutic use*
  • Free Radicals / chemistry
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Phenols / chemistry
  • Phenols / isolation & purification
  • Phenols / therapeutic use*
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / analysis
  • Pleurisy / chemically induced
  • Pleurisy / drug therapy*
  • Pleurisy / immunology
  • Seeds / chemistry
  • Solvents / chemistry


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Flavonoids
  • Free Radicals
  • Phenols
  • Plant Extracts
  • Solvents
  • 1-Butanol
  • Carrageenan