Evaluation of anti-inflammatory property of the leaves of Sansevieria liberica ger. and labr. (fam: dracaenaceae)
To evaluate the anti-inflammatory property of leaves of Sansevieria liberica Ger. and Labr. and to ascertain the toxicity and phytochemical profiles of the extract of the leaves. The juice from the fresh leaves was expressed manually and lyophilized. The crude extract (CE) was then fractionated into n-hexane fraction (HF), chloroform fraction (CF), ethylacetate fraction (EF) and methanol fraction (MF). The crude extract (CF) and the fractions were screened for anti-inflammatory activity using egg albumen-induced paw (systemic) edema in rats as a measure of acute inflammation. The toxicity test and phytochemical screening were done using standard procedures. The CE and the fractions significantly (P<0.05) inhibited the development of paw edema induced by egg albumen in rats. The potency/activity of the CE and the fractions increased in the order HF>CE>MF>CF>EF, with the CE and HF at 400 mg/kg exhibiting inhibition comparable to that obtained with 5 mg/kg diclofenac sodium. Acute toxicity test on CE established an oral and intraperitoneal LD50 of > 5 000 mg/kg in mice. Phytochemical screening of the CE and the fractions showed the presence of various bioactive substances such as alkaloids, saponins, flavonoids, terpenoids, steroids, glycosides, reducing sugars, tannins, resins, carbohydrates, proteins, acidic compounds, fats and oils. The results of the study showed that the leaves of Sansevieria liberica Ger and Labr. possess anti-inflammatory effects which may be due to its bioactive constituents. Further purification on these bioactive constituents may result in the development of potent anti-inflammatory agent with low toxicity and better therapeutic index.