Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2016Peer reviewedOpen access

Evaluation of Ajuga bracteosa for antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antidepressant and anticoagulant activities

Kayani, Waqas Khan; Dilshad, Erum; Ahmed, Tanveer; Ismail, Hammad; Mirza, Bushra


Background: Ajuga bracteosa has been extensively used traditionally for the treatment of a variety of diseases. The aim of the study was to scientifically validate the wide-scale exploitation of A. bracteosa in folk medicine various in vitro and in vivo assays. Moreover, these activities were related to the intrinsic biologically active phytoecdysteroids of A. bracteosa.Methods: Aerial and root parts of A. bracteosa were first extracted separately with chloroform (AbCA and AbCR) and the residue was again extracted with methanol (AbMA and AbMR). Total flavonoid and phenolic contents were assayed as quercetin (QE) and gallic acid equivalents (GAE), respectively. These extracts were analyzed for in vitro antioxidant assessment including DPPH and H2O2 (% inhibition of free radicals), and reducing power and phosphomolybdenum methods (ascorbic acid equivalents AAE mg/g DW). Further, these extracts were assayed in vivo in separate groups of Sprague-Dawley rats for carrageenan induced rat paw edema inhibition, hotplate antinociception, forced swim antidepression and anticoagulation. Dose of each crude extract and standard drug given to rats was 200 mg/Kg-and 10 mg/10 mL/Kg body weight respectively. Plant extracts and standard drugs were administered orally, 60 min prior to the conduction of assays. Moreover, biologically active phytoecdysteroids were screened in A. bracteosa with the help of RP-HPLC.Results: AbMA represented highest values of flavonoids (QE 1.98 % DW) and phenolic contents (GAE 5.94 % DW), significantly scavenged DPPH radicles (IC50 36.9) and reduced ferric ions with 718.4 mg ascorbic acid equivalent/g (AAE). Highest total antioxidant capacity was expressed by AbMR (927 mg AAE) with an IC50 value 19.1 mu g/mL. The extracts which were found potent anti-oxidants, were also good at in vivo activities. AbMA significantly reduced edema in all the three hours of treatment (67.9, 70.3 and 74.3 %). AbMA also showed maximum nociceptor suppression in analgesic assay by delaying the time to start licking of paws in rats (57.7 +/- 4.9 s). In addition, maximum anti-coagulation was also exhibited by AbMA (89.3 s), while all extracts were found strong antidepressants (<= 15.66 s immobility time). Screening of biologically active phytoecdysteroids revealed the presence of 20-hydroxyecdysone (20-HE), makisterone (MKA), cyasterone (CYP) and ajujalactone (AJL). Total phytoecdysteroid content found in A. bracteosa was 1232.5 mu g/g DW and 20-HE was most abundant (1232.5 mu g/g DW) as compared to other phytoecdysteroids.Conclusion: Based on the tested in vitro and in vivo activities, AbMA was found to be a promising bioactive extract. These activities can be attributed to the intrinsic polyphenols and phytoecdysteroids contents of A. bracteosa.


Ajuga bracteosa; Antioxidants; Anti-inflammatory; Phytoecdysteroids; RP-HPLC; Antidepressant

Published in

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
2016, Volume: 16, article number: 375

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)