Indian Journal of Pharmacology 2001; 33




Division of Ethnomedicine and Ethnopharmacology, Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute, Pacha-Palode (P. O), Thiruvananthapuram - 695 562.
Manuscript Received: 4.10.2000 Revised: 16.1.2001 Accepted: 22.1.2001


Objective: To study the wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties of Hemigraphis colorata (leaf). Methods: The wound healing property of H. colorata leaf paste (topical application) or suspension (p.o., 1g/kg) was studied using excision wound which was inflicted by cutting away 500 mm2 of the skin on the anterio-dorsal side of mouse. The anti- inflammatory activity of the leaf was evaluated using carrageenaninduced paw oedema model in mice. Results: H. colorata leaf paste when applied on the wound promoted wound healing in mice but oral administration was ineffective. The wound contraction and epithelialisation was faster in the leaf paste applied on mice. The leaf suspension or paste was devoid of anti-inflammatory activity. Conclusion: H. colorata leaf paste promotes excision wound healing in mice.


Hemigraphis colorata

wound healing


INTRODUCTION One of the exotic plants adopted to our country, Hemigraphis colorata (Blume) H.G. Hallier (Acanthaceae) is an excellent garden plant. This is a tropical showy species grown in front of houses and garden. This is a prostrate herb with rooting branches, opposite broad cordate and toothed leaves and terminal heads of small white flowers1. The leaves are 6 to 10 cm long and shimmering silvery violet underneath red purple1. It is claimed in folk medicine that the plant has very good wound healing activity. The leaves are ground into a paste and applied on fresh cut wounds. However, pharmacological studies were not carried out on this plant. In the present study the excision wound healing, and anti inflammatory properties of the plant leaf suspension/paste were studied in mice. MATERIALS AND METHODS Collection of plant material: Hemigraphis colorata leaves were collected in the months of April and May,
Correspondence: G. Sreekandan Nair

2000 from the garden of Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (TBGRI) where the plant is cultivated. A voucher specimen of the plant is kept in the herbarium of the institute. Preparation of leaf suspension and paste: The fresh plant leaves were cleaned and ground into a paste and used. A 20% aqueous suspension of the leaves was prepared in 1% gum acacia. This was used for oral administration. The water content of the leaf was found to be about 80%. Animals: Swiss male albino mice (25-30 g) were used. The mice were fed a standard diet and water ad libitum in our animal house facility and maintained under standard laboratory conditions. Excision wound healing2: An excision wound was inflicted by cutting away approximately 500 mm2 full thickness of shaved skin of a predetermined area on the anterio-dorsal side of each mouse. The wounded mice were divided into 4 groups of 6 mice each. They were kept in individual cage. The control group

the fresh leaf suspension was administered orally (1g/ kg) just after carrageenan administration. Epithelialisation time was noted as a number of days after wounding required for the scar to fall off leaving no raw wound behind. In another group. Acute inflammation: Carrageenan-induced paw oedema in mice was used as a model. Wound contraction rate was monitored by planimetric measurement of the wound area once in 4 days. As shown in Table 1. In the drug treated mice the wounds were completely healed in less than 18 days whereas in the control animals it . from povidone-iodine ointment treated wounds. In the first two days after wounding. the mice were killed with an over dose of ether and both the paws were cut identically at the ankle joint and weighed.05.9 (4)** H.8 (2)** 0 4 8 12 16 18 533 + 18 (100) 460 + 19 (86) 363 + 14 (69) 278 + 14 (52) 172 + 8 (32) 156 + 6 (29) Values are mean + S. % wound contraction is given within parentheses (group I) did not receive any treatment. Win Medicare Ltd. RESULTS The wound contraction and epithelialisation were faster in H. After 3 hrs. the drug adhered on the wound and prevented the discharges from the wound within a few hrs after the application.o. fluid was oozing from the untreated wounds (control) and. P values <0. daily. colorota leaf on excison wound contraction in mice. Statistical analysis: The data were analysed using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA).12 ml of 1% carrageenan was injected subcutaneously into the right hind paws of mice with the help of a Hamilton microsyringe. wound contraction progressed faster when the leaf paste was applied on the wound compared to untreated wounds. This was done by tracing the wound surface on a graph paper2. Post-hoc comparisons using Dunnett’s test were carried out for the analysis. In one of the experimental groups (groups II). Two control groups were taken. Effect of H.) to one of the control groups for comparison with oral administration of the drug.01 (compared to control). A positive control group (group IV) of mice received topically 5% (w/w) povidone-iodine ointment (Betadine. the leaf paste was applied on the wound with a fine brush.05 were considered significant. colorata leaf Post wounding days Control Topical application 508 + 368 + 165 + 76 + 10 + 0 20 (100) 14 (72)* 11 (32)** 6. * p < 0.4 (15)** 1. Table 1. The leaf paste adhered to the wound as a covering. p. ** p < 0. In the experimental group fresh leaf paste was applied on the paw just after carrageenan injection.4 (15)** 1.) in an identical manner. to some extent.o. Wound area (mm2) Povidoneiodine ointment Oral administration 528 450 346 276 174 150 + + + + + + 22 (100) 17 (85) 15 (65) 9 (52) 8. But in the case of H. The difference in weight between the right and left paws gave the amount of oedema developed.5 (33) 8 (28) Topical application 523 320 186 80 18 + + + + + 0 18 (100) 13 (61)* 10 (36)** 7. SUBRAMONIAM et al. Reduction in the wound area was expressed as % of original wound area. 1% diclofenac (Nac gel) was used as a positive control. D. till the wound was completely healed. colorata leaf paste applied mice when compared to control. colorata leaf paste treated wounds. n = 6 in each group. 0. 1 % gum acacia was administered (p.284 A.). Another group (group III) of mice received daily the fresh leaf suspension (1 g/kg.

Udupa AL. Values are mean + S. However. Kulkarni DR.8 285 motes cut wound healing in mice. Acute inflammation: As shown in Table 2. Udupa SL. Thus it appears that the moderate immune stimulation is not significantly involved in the wound healing processes. D. Both alcohol and water extracts of this plant leaf were inactive against bacteria (Bacillus subtilis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and fungi (Candida albicans and Aspergillus niger) [unpublished observations of the authors]. The efficacy of the leaf preparation was comparable to that of povidone-iodine ointment (Table 1). Fitoterapia 1994.1* 88 + 7.HEMIGRAPHIS COLORATA ON WOUND HEALING Table 2. colorata Oral administration (1 g/kg) Topical application Diclofenac Topical application 42 + 5. In fact our preliminary observations at the time of drug coat falling suggests that it may stimulate angiogenesis. DISCUSSION The present study shows for the first time that application of H. Roehrs Company Publishers. wet weight) moderately enhanced immune responses. Studies on the antiinflammatory and wound healing properties of Moringa oleifera and Aegle marmelos. blood leucocyte count and peritoneal macrophage number in mice (unpublished observation of the authors). 2. Diclofenac (which was used as a positive control) when applied topically inhibited inflammation by 42% (Table 2). # Difference in the weights of carrageenan treated and untreated paws. The drug may stimulate angiogenesis (formation of new blood capillaries). * p < 0. However. colorata leaf on carrageenan-induced paw oedema in mice. However. this remains to be confirmed. Even on the 8th day the wound contraction was 68% in the treated mice whereas it was only 31% in the controls. Oral administration of the drug (1 g/kg. New Jercy. 2. Exotica .1 81 + 5.8 Inflammation (mg)# 84 + 6.01 compared to control took more than 26 days.2 83 + 7. in contrast to topical application. The leaf extracts (1 mg/ml) did not exhibit in vitro antimicrobial activity. such as haemagglutination antibody titre against sheep RBC. Graf AB. Vol. However. This observation substantiates the use of this plant leaf in folklore medicine in the treatment of wounds. the oral administration did not stimulate wound healing.65:11923. Group Control Control (1% gum acacia) H. oral administration of the leaf suspension. both oral administration of the leaf suspension (1g/kg) as well as topical application of the leaf paste were devoid of anti-inflammatory activity in the carrageenan induced acute inflammation in mice. This herb is a promising wound healing promoter worthy of further studies and clinical evaluation. 1982. it is possible that the leaf paste by firmly adhearing on the wound may provide a physical barrier to the invading microorganisms. Want to join? Please e-mail : adithan@vsnl. daily at a dose of 1 g/kg (wet weight) did not influence excision wound healing (Table 1). n = 6 in each group. colorata leaf paste on the wound pro- REFERENCES 1. The wound healing mechanism of this plant leaf is not clear. Join"IndPharm" IJP uses "IndPharm" to broadcast announcements. number of antibody secreting cells in the spleen. Effect of H.

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