Anti-inflammatory activity of fenugreek ( Trigonella foenum-graecum Linn) seed petroleum ether extract

Indian J Pharmacol. 2016 Jul-Aug;48(4):441-444. doi: 10.4103/0253-7613.186195.


Objectives: The aim of the present work was to study the anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic activities of petroleum ether extract of fenugreek seeds.

Materials and methods: Fenugreek seed powder was extracted in petroleum ether by cold maceration. This fenugreek seed petroleum ether extract (FSPEE) was analyzed by gas-liquid chromatography (GLC) and tested on rats against carrageenan and formaldehyde-induced paw edema, complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA)-induced arthritis and cotton pellet-induced granuloma. Changes in serum glutamic oxaloacetic tansaminase (SGOT), serum glutamate-pyruvate transaminase (SGPT), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activities in liver and serum were also studied in cotton pellet-induced arthritic rats. Data were analyzed by Student's t-test. P <0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: GLC of FSPEE showed oleic (33.61%), linoleic (40.37%), and linolenic (12.51%) acids. With 0.5 mL/kg FSPEE treatment, there was 37% (P < 0.05) and 85% (P < 0.05) reduction in inflammation of the paw in carrageenan and formaldehyde-induced paw edema. In CFA-induced arthritis, a biphasic increase in paw volume followed by decrease was seen. There was 42.5% (P < 0.01) reduction in the weight of cotton pellets and significant (P < 0.01) reductions in the elevated SGPT and ALP activities in serum and liver of FSPEE (0.5 mL/kg) treated rats.

Conclusion: Thus, petroleum ether extract of fenugreek seeds has significant anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic activities which are due to the presence of linolenic and linoleic acids.

Keywords: Anti-inflammatory activity; Trigonella foenum-graecum; complete Freund's adjuvant; cotton pellet; formaldehyde.

MeSH terms

  • Alkanes / chemistry
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis, Experimental / blood
  • Arthritis, Experimental / drug therapy
  • Arthritis, Experimental / enzymology
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Edema / blood
  • Edema / drug therapy
  • Edema / enzymology
  • Female
  • Granuloma, Foreign-Body / blood
  • Granuloma, Foreign-Body / drug therapy
  • Granuloma, Foreign-Body / enzymology
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Male
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Seeds / chemistry*
  • Trigonella / chemistry*


  • Alkanes
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • naphtha