Members of the genus Desmodium are widespread in the sub-tropics, tropics and used in traditional medicine, as part of recipes for treating fever, pains, cough and dysentery. In this study, phytochemical screening and comparative anti-inflammatory activities of the methanol extracts, hexane and ethyl acetate fractions of the leaves of Desmodium velutinum and Desmodium scorpiurus were investigated using the egg-albumin induced oedema and protein denaturation methods. The presence of flavonoids, saponins, tannins and sterols were detected in the leaves of D. velutinum and D. scorpiurus while, the extracts and fractions exhibited anti-inflammatory activities not significantly different (p<0.05) from the activities of the reference drug (Diclofenac Sodium). The hexane fractions of D. velutinum and D. scorpiurus exhibited the most pronounced effects of 76.9 and 68.2% respectively at a dose of 2000 µg/ml in the in vitro model; 27.2 and 24.5% respectively in the in vivo model. This study has been able to report the anti-inflammatory activities of the leaves of D. velutinum and D. scorpiurus.
Key words: Desmodium velutinum, Desmodium scorpiurus, anti-inflammatory activities, papilionaceae, in vivo, in vitro.
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