(NaturalNews) A new Indian study has found that the herb Plumeria acuminate
-- commonly known as perungalli and widely used in Ayurvedic medicine -- may be a potent treatment for both acute and chronic inflammation.
Researchers from Jadavpur University in Kolkata and ASN Pharmacy college tested the effectiveness of a methanol extract of Plumeria acuminate (MEPA) on both acute and chronic inflammation in laboratory rats.
In separate experiments to test the effects of MEPA on chronic and acute inflammation, the researchers split 24 rats into four groups of six, and induced acute inflammation into the hind paws of two groups, while using one group as a control and another group as a standard.
The first group of rats with acute inflammation were treated with 250 mgkg-1 of MEPA, while the second inflammation group was given 500 mgkg-1 of MEPA. The same model was used for rats induced with chronic inflammation.
The researchers found that the rats with acute inflammation that were treated with 500 mgkg-1 of MEPA experienced an average 36 percent reduction of inflammation. The rats with chronic inflammation that were treated with 500 mgkg-1 of MEPA experienced a reduction in the formation of granuloma tissue -- firm nodules or masses that form as a result of chronic inflammation -- of 45 percent.
The researchers concluded: "...the methanol extract of Plumeria acuminate possess potent anti-inflammatory activity in both acute and chronic models." They also found that the effectiveness of the herbal extract was comparable to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Perungalli has been traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine in Southern India and Sri Lanka to treat a wide array of health disorders. The plant material is often used to treat diarrhea and itch, while the milky juice of the plant is used to treat rheumatism and inflammation.
The bark is traditionally used as a plaster to cover inflammation or hard tumors, and the leaves reportedly have purgative and anti-inflammatory effects. However, the researchers note, scientific research is needed to verify the effectiveness of the traditional uses of the herb.