The ability of plant extracts and preparations to reduce inflammation has been proven by different means in experimental models. Since inflammation enhances the release of specific mediators, inhibition of their production can be used to investigate the anti-inflammatory effect of plants widely used in folk medicine for this purpose. The study was performed for leaves and flowers of Malva sylvestris, and leaves of Sida cordifolia and Pelargonium graveolens. These are three plant species known in Brazil as Malva. The anti-inflammatory activity of extracts and fractions (hexane, chloroform, ethyl acetate, and residual) was evaluated by quantitation of prostaglandins (PG) PGE₂, PGD₂, PGF2α, and thromboxane B₂ (the stable nonenzymatic product of TXA₂) concentration in the supernatant of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)- induced RAW 264.7 cells. Inhibition of anti-inflammatory mediator release was observed for plants mainly in the crude extract, ethyl acetate fraction, and residual fraction. The results suggest superior activity of S. cordifolia, leading to significantly lower values of all mediators after treatment with its residual fraction, even at the lower concentration tested (10 μg/mL). M. sylvestris and P. graveolens showed similar results, such as the reduction of all mediators after treatment, with leaf crude extracts (50 μg/mL). These results suggest that the three species known as Malva have anti-inflammatory properties, S. cordifolia being the most potent.
Keywords: Malva sylvestris; Pelargonium graveolens; RAW 264.7; Sida cordifolia; anti-inflammatory activity.