Illicium verum extract exhibited anti-inflammatory action in rodents

Shagufta Khan, Huma Aslam Bhatti, Ghulam Abbas, Muhammad Ali Versiani, Shaheen Faizi, Salman Khalid Ahmed, Saad Jawaid, Anita Naushir Akbar Ali, Rabia Jamy, Fatima Shahid, Ahsana Dar Farooq

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Illicium verum Hook. f. (Star anise) has been traditionally used for the treatment of abdominal colic, vomiting, pain, nervousness, insomnia and rheumatism. Objective: The present study was conducted to investigate the anti-inflammatory properties of Illicium verum extracts. Methods: Different extracts of I. verum (IV-Ext-1, IV-Ext-3 and IV-Ext-4) were screened for their anti-inflammatory potential using carrageenan-induced paw edema in mice. The mechanism of action was explored using paw edema tests (carrageenan, histamine, serotonin and prostaglandins) in rats and anti-oxidant activity (DPPH assay). Reverse phase HPLC was used for chemical characterization of extracts. Results: The IV-Ext-3 was found to be the most potent anti-inflammatory agent (38% inhibition) using carrageenan-induced paw edema. The anti-inflammatory effect was observed during both the initial (IC50: 260 mg/kg) and late phases (IC50: 200 mg/kg). Similar IC50 of 200 mg/kg was observed in both phases of histamine-induced paw edema. However, the extract failed to cause 50% inhibition in serotonin-induced edema (IC25: 400 mg/kg) and was also ineffective against Prostaglandin- E2 induced edema. Furthermore, the IV-Ext-3 appeared to be an effective antioxidant (IC50: 12 µg/ml). The HPLC chromatogram of IV-Ext-3 showed the presence of anti-inflammatory constituents such as shikimic acid (1.6%) and anethole (0.25%), 3, 4-dihydroxybenzoic acid (0.003%) and p-hydroxy methyl benzoate (0.117%) along with some polar hydroxyl derivatives of benzoic acids. Conclusion: Among all the extracts of I. verum, IV-Ext-3 was found to be the most effective antiinflammatory agent which can be attributed to multiple anti-inflammatory constituents, antihistamine and antioxidant potentials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)678-686
Number of pages9
JournalLetters in Drug Design and Discovery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Anti-histamine
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Edema
  • Prostaglandins synthesis inhibitor
  • Star anise


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