Dryopteris filix-mas (L.) Schott ethanolic leaf extract and fractions exhibited profound anti-inflammatory activity

Document Type: Original Research Article


1 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria.

2 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria

3 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of pharmaceutical sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka

4 Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu State, Nigeria.

5 Department of Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka

6 Department of Pharmaceutical Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria.

7 Department of Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria.


Objective: Dryopteris filix-mas (D. filix-mas) (L.) Schott, (Dryopteridaceae) is used in traditional medicine, particularly in the Southern parts of Nigeria for the treatment of inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis, wounds and ulcers. In this study, we evaluated the anti-inflammatory activity of its ethanolic leaf extract and fractions.
Materials and Methods: The ethanolic leaf extract and fractions were screened for anti-inflammatory properties using egg-albumin-induced paw edema, xylene-induced topical ear edema, formaldehyde-induced arthritis and ulcerogenic models. The ethyl acetate most promising vacuum liquid chromatography fraction (VLC-E7) was purified using size exclusion chromatography technique (Sephadex LH-20) and its structure was elucidated using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectrometry. Total phenolic and flavonoid contents were also determined.
Results: From the study, ethyl acetate and butanol fractions elicited better anti-inflammatory activities in egg-albumin-induced paw edema, formaldehyde-induced arthritis and xylene-induced topical ear edema. The ethanol extract, ethyl acetate and butanol fractions were non-ulcerogenic at 200 and 400 mg/kg. The compound isolated from Sephadex fraction (SPH-E6) was quercetin-3-O-α-L-rhamnopyranoside.
Conclusion: Results of this study justify the ethnomedicinal use of D. filix-mas leaf for treatment of inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis. We suggest that D. filix-mas could be a prospective anti-inflammatory agent with no gastric irritation side effect, due to its bioactive component, quercetin-3-O-α-L-rhamnopyranoside.


Main Subjects

Alam B, Akter A, Parvin N, Pia RS, Akter S, Chowdhury J, Sifath-E-Jahan K, Haque E. 2013. Antioxidant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of the methanolic extract of Piper betle leaves. Avicenna J Phytomed, 3: 112-125.

Ajaghaku DL, Ilodigwe EE, Okonta MJ, Ogue CO, Okafor MA, Igboeme SO. 2013. Mechanism of anti-inflammatory activity of the leaf extract and fractions of Millettia aboensis. IRJP, 4:54-59.

Ajaghaku DL, Obasi O, Umeokoli BO, Ogbuatu P, Nworu CS, Ilodigwe EE, Okoye FBC. 2017. In vitro and in vivo antioxidant potentials of Alchornea floribunda leaf extract, fractions and isolated bioactive compounds. Avicenna J Phytomed, 7: 80-92.

Azubike NC, Okwuosa CN, Achukwu PU, Maduka TC, Chike O. 2015. Acute toxicity and histopathological effects of crude aqueous extract of Jatropha curcas leaves in mice. Res J Med Plant, 9: 340-346.

Bafor EE, Omokaro WO, Uwumarongie OH, Elvis-Offiah UB, Omoruyi O, Viegelmann CV, Edrada-Ebel R. 2017. Dryopteris filix-mas (Dryopteridaceae) leaves inhibit mouse uterine activity. JOMPED, 1: 1 -12.

Beber AP, de Souza P, Boeing T, Somensi LB, Mariano LN, Cury BJ, Burci LM, de Silva CB, Simionatto E, De Andrade SF, da Silva LM. 2018. Constituents of leaves from Bauhinia curvula Benth. exert gastroprotective activity in rodents: role of quercitrin and kaempferol. Inflammopharmacology, 26: 539-550.

Chatterjee A, Bandyopadhyay SK. 2014. Herbal remedy: An alternate therapy of nonsteroidal anti-Inflammatory drug induced gastric ulcer healing. Ulcer, 2014:13.

Díaz RJO, Rocha GNE, Gallegos IJA, Moreno JMR, González LRF. 2016. Gastroprotective Activities of Buddleja scordioides-Role of Polyphenols against Inflammation. J Chem Biol Ther, 2: 1-8.

Erhirhie EO, Ilodigwe EE, Ihekwereme CP. 2018. Ficus Sycomorus L (Moraceae): A review on its Phytopharmacology and toxicity profile. Discovery Phytomedicine, 5: 64-71.

Ezeja MI, Yusuf N, Omeh SO, Ijeoma HU. 2015. Antiinflammatory and antioxidant activities of the methanolic leaf extract of Cissus aralioides. Am J Pharmacol Sci, 3: 1 - 6.

Ghaly NS, Melek FR, Abdelwahed NAM. 2010. Flavonoids from Albizia chinensis of Egypt. Rev. Latinoamer Quím, 38: 153-158.

Gretzer B, Maricic N, Respondek M, Schuligoli R, Peskar BM. 2001. Effects of specific inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 in the rat stomach with normal mucosa and after acid challenge. Br J Pharamacol, 132: 1565-1573.

Hajhashemi V, Klooshani V. 2013. Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of Urtica dioica leaf extract in animal models. Avicenna J Phytomed, 3:193-200.

Ilavarasana R, Mallikab M, Venkataramanc S. 2005. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities of Cassia fistula linn bark extract. Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med,2: 70 – 85.

Jin JHKim JSKang SSSon KHChang HW,  Kim HP. 2010. Anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic activity of total flavonoids of the roots of Sophora flavescens. J Ethnopharmacol, 127: 589–595.

José M.B, Márcia R.P, Marcelo D.M, Marcelo S.S, Karla VBL, Emídio VL, Ivana MF, Orlando ST. 2006. Anti-inflammatory activity of alkaloids: A twenty-century review. Rev Bras Farmacogn, 16: 109-139.

Mei FS, Jong YC. 2012. Potential applications of euphorbia hirta in pharmacology. drug discovery research in pharmacognosy. www.intechopen.com. 165-180. Accessed October 22nd, 2018.

Minaiyan M, Sajjadi SE, Amini K. 2018. Antiulcer effects of Zataria multifloraBoiss. on indomethacin-induced gastric ulcer in rats. Avicenna J Phytomed, 8: 408-415.

Moke EG, Ilodigwe EE, Erhirhie OE. 2015. Evaluation of the ulcerogenic potential of the aqueous extract of Spondias mombinand Custus afer. IJAPBC, 4: 282-286.

Murugesan D, Deviponnuswamy R. 2014. Potent anti-inflammatory medical plant-a review. Int J Pharm Pharm Sci, 6: 43-49.

Nworu CS, Nwuke HC, Akah PA, Okoye FBC, Esimone CO. 2012. Extracts of Ficus exasperate leaf inhibit topical and systemic inflammation in rodents and suppress LPS-induced expression of mediators of inflammation in macrophages. J Immunotoxicol, 10: 302-310.

Okigbo, RN, Anuagasi CL, Amadi JE. 2009. Advances in selected medicinal and aromatic plants indigenous to Africa. J Med Plants Res, 3: 86-95.

Okoye NN, Ajaghaku DL, Okeke HN, Ilodigwe EE, Nworu CS, Okoye FBC. 2014. Beta-amyrin and alpha-amyrin acetate isolated from the stem bark of Alstonia booneidisplayed profound anti-inflammatory activity. Pharm Biol, 52: 1478 – 1486.

Qnais, E, Raad D, Bseiso Y. 2014. Analgesic and anti-Inflammatory effects of an extract and flavonoids from Artemisia Herba-Albaand their mechanisms of action. Neurophysiol, 46: 238-246.

Randhawa MA. 2009. Calculation of LD50 value from the method of Miller and Tainter, 1944. J Ayub Med CollAbbottabad, 21: 1-3.

Ruckmani A, Vinayak M, Vijayashree R, Arunkumar R, Konda VR, Prabhu R, Madhavi E, Devi S. 2018. Anti-rheumatoid activity of ethanolic extract of Sesamum indicum seed extract in Freund's complete adjuvant induced arthritis in Wistar albino rats. JTCM, 8: 377-386.

Sekendar AM, Mostafa K, Raihan MO, Rahman MK, Hossain MA, Alam MS. 2012. Antioxidant and cytotoxic activities of methanolic extract of Dryopteris filix-mas (L.) Schott Leaves”. Int J Drug Dev Res, 4: 223-229.

Shrestha B, Ravi P, Talib H. 2014. Anti-inflammatory activity of ethnobotanical plants used as traditional medicine: A review. Res Rev J Bot Sci, 3: 8-18.

Soare LC, Ferdes M, Stefanov S, Denkova Z, Nicolova R, Denev P, Bejan C, Paunescu A. 2012. Antioxidant activity, polyphenols content and antimicrobial activity of several native Pteridophytes of Romania. Notulae Botanicae. Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca, 40: 53-57.

Tae-Seong L, Hee-Jeong M, Young-Soo B. 2015. Phenolic Glycosides from Cercidiphyllum japonicum leaves.  J Korean Wood Sci Technol, 43: 591-599.

Urban J, Tauchen J, Langrova I, Kokoska L. 2014. In vitro motility inhibition effect of Czech medicinal plant extracts on Chabertia ovina adults. J Anim Plant Sci, 21: 3293-3302.

Uwumarongie HO, Enike MA, Bafor EE. 2016. Pharmacognostic evaluation and gastrointestinal activity of Dryopteris filix-mas(L.) schott (Dryopteridaceae). Ew J Herbal Chem Pharmacol Res, 2: 19 – 25.

Yadav RNS, Agarwala M. 2011. Phytochemical analysis of some medicinal plants. J phytol, 3: 10-14.