Anti-inflammatory activity and chemical composition of the essential oils from Senecio flammeus

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Kai-Jun Xiao
Wen-Xia Wang
Jia-Li Dai
Liang Zhu


Many species from Senecio genus have been used in traditional medicine, and their pharmacological activities have been demonstrated. This study investigated the chemical composition and anti-inflammatory activities of essential oils from Senecio flammeus. A total of 48 components representing 98.41 % of the total oils were identified. The main compounds in the oils were α-farnesene (11.26 %), caryophyllene (8.69 %), n-hexadecanoic acid (7.23 %), and α-pinene (6.36 %). The anti-inflammatory activity of the essential oils was evaluated in rodents (10–90 mg/kg bw) in classical models of inflammation [carrageenan-induced paw edema, 12-O-tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced ear edema, and cotton pellet-induced granuloma]. The essential oils at doses of 10, 30, and 90 mg/kg bw significantly reduced carrageenan-induced paw edema by 17.42 % (P < 0.05), 52.90 % (P < 0.05), and 66.45 % (P < 0.05) 4 h after carrageenan injection, respectively, and significantly reduced myeloperoxidase activity (P < 0.05). The essential oils (10, 30, and 90 mg/kg) also produced a significant dose-dependent response to reduce TPA-induced ear edema by 20.27 % (P < 0.05), 33.06 % (P < 0.05), and 53.90 % (P < 0.05), respectively. The essential oils produced significant dose-response anti-inflammatory activity against cotton pellet-induced granuloma that peaked at the highest dose of 90 mg/kg (49.08 % wet weight and 47.29 % dry weight). Results demonstrate that the essential oils of S. flammeus were effective in the treatment of both acute and chronic inflammatory conditions, thereby supporting the traditional use of this herb.

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Xiao, K.-J., Wang, W.-X., Dai, J.-L., & Zhu, L. (2014). Anti-inflammatory activity and chemical composition of the essential oils from Senecio flammeus. EXCLI Journal, 13, 782-791. Retrieved from
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