Toxicological Evaluation of Emblica officinalis Fruit Extract and its Anti-inflammatory and Free Radical Scavenging Properties

Pharmacogn Mag. 2015 Oct;11(Suppl 3):S427-33. doi: 10.4103/0973-1296.168982.


Background: Emblica officinalis (Euphorbiaceae), popularly known as Indian gooseberry or "Amla" in India, is used in Ayurveda as "rejuvenating herb" since ancient times.

Objective: This study was carried out to estimate toxicity, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidative activities of the methanolic extract of Emblica officinalis fruit (MEO) in an animal model.

Materials and methods: Antioxidative property of MEO was assessed by in vitro assays such as phosphomolybdenum assay (total antioxidant capacity), free radical scavenging assays 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl and 2,2'-azino-bis and 3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulphonic acid (DPPH and ABTS method) and lipid peroxidation assay (LPO). The anti-inflammatory property was evaluated by carrageenan-induced acute inflammation in rats by measuring rat paw volume at different time intervals and toxicological analysis using mice.

Results and discussion: High performance liquid chromatography studies revealed the presence of gallic acid (2.10%), mucic acid (4.90%), ellagic acid (2.10%), quercetin (28.00%), rutin (3.89%), and β-glucogallin (1.46%). MEO showed highest antioxidant activities by using DPPH (17.33-89.00%), ABTS (23.03-94.16%), nitric oxide scavenging activity (12.94-70.16%), LPO (56.54%), and phosphomolybdenum assay (142 ± 6.09 μg/ml). The LD50 was found to be approximately 1125 mg/kg (p.o). High dose of MEO showed significant reduction (72.71%) in the inflammation after 4 h of treatment, which was comparable to diclofenac (10 mg/kg) (61.57%) treated group. Significant reduction (P < 0.05) in the inflammatory cytokine (interleukin-1β and tumor necrosis factor-α) markers were also observed (57.25% and 35.41%, respectively) in serum of MEO treated animals as compared to control.

Conclusion: Taken together, phenolic compounds of MEO may serve as a potential herbal drug for amelioration of acute inflammation due to their modulatory action on free radicals.

Summary: The methanolic extract of Emblica officinalis fruit (MEO) has potent antioxidant activity as assessed by DPPH, ABTS and LPO assaysMEO has potent anti-inflammatory activity in carrageenan induced paw edema modelThe phenolic compounds of MEO might be a potential herbal drug for amelioration of acute inflammation. Abbreviations used: ROS, reactive oxygen species; RNS, reactive nitrogen species, LPO, lipid peroxidation, NO, nitric oxide, IL, interleukin; TNF α tumor necrosis factor alpha; NSAIDs, nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drugs; AA, ascorbic acid; MEO, methanolic extract of Emblica officinalis fruit; ABTS+; 2,2' azino bis 3 ethylbenzthiazoline 6 sulphonic acid; DPPH, 1,1 diphenyl 2 picrylhydrazyl; HPLC, high performance liquid chromatography; MDA, malondialdehyde; DMSO, dimethyl sulphoxide; ELISA, enzyme linked immunosorbent assay.

Keywords: 1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl; Emblica officinalis; acute inflammation; amla; antioxidant; high performance liquid chromatography.