The prickly pear cactus Opuntia ficus-indica (OFI) or nopal is a plant that is well adapted to arid and semi-arid climates like that of Algeria, it has been used in traditional folk medicine because of its role in treating a number of diseases including diabetes, hypertension, gastric mucosa pain, cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory diseases in many countries over the world. The objective of this work is to evaluate the hydro-ethanolic and aqueous extracts of (OFI) seeds (500 mg/kg, p.o.) for in vivo anti-inflammatory activity. The anti-inflammatory activity of OFI was tested in rats weighting 200-300 g by following method physiological saline (0.09%) for control group, the both extracts (500 mg/kg) and brexin (12 mg/kg) was administered (p.o.) for 30 min before an edema was induced in the rat paw by subcutaneous injection of carrageenan. The rat-paw volume was measured 1 h 30 min and 3 h and 6 h after injection. The OFI showed significant reduction of edema in carrageenan induced rat paw edema model for 44%, 50% at 1 h 30 min and 3 h for hydro-ethanolic respectively, compared to the aqueous extract which reduces the increase in paw volume with the same percentage of 25%, for the reference brexin (12 mg/kg) exhibited % reduction in paw volume 72.71%, 71.32% and 28.72% after 1 h 30 min, 3 h, 6 h respectively compared to control group. Furthermore the phytochemical tests detect the presence of flavonoids, tannins, sterols, and alkaloids in the seeds of prickly pear cactus (OFI). The obtained results of the present investigation revealed that the extract of OFI seeds (aqueous, hydro-ethanolic) has significant anti-inflammatory activity.
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