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Aim: This study investigated the toxicological and anti-inflammatory effects of some anti-arthritic herbal formulations.
Methodology: Forty-nine (49) female albino wistar rats grouped into seven groups of seven rats per group, were used for this study. Group A was the negative control while Group B was the positive control groups respectively. The rats in group B, C, D, E, F and G were induced with rheumatoid arthritis by injecting 0.1 ml of Complete Freund’s Adjuvant into their right hind paw. They were treated with the standard drug and herbal formulations respectively for 28 days as follows: Group C (treated with the standard orthodox drug, Celebrex), Group D (treated with the herbal drug, Jointeez), Group E (treated with a herbal drug, Arthropower), Group F (treated with a combination therapy of Jointeez and Celebrex) and Group G (treated with a combination therapy of Arthropower and Celebrex). The treatment was for 28 days, once daily. On the 29th day the rats were anaesthesized with chloroform and sacrificed through puncture of the jugular vein. Five milliliters (5 ml) of blood samples were put into plain bottles for the analysis of biochemical parameters and 3 ml into K3EDTA bottles for haematological analysis. The biochemical parameters were analysed using ELISA technique while haematological parameters were determined using Sysmex haematology autoanalyzer.
Results: The AST (p=0.006), ALT (p<0.001) and ALP (p=0.001) were significantly reduced in the treated rats compared to the arthritic control group. TNF-α (p=0.001), IL-6 (p<0.001), CRP (p=0.001) and WBC (p=0.001) were significantly reduced in the treated rats compared to the positive control group. Conversely, Haemoglobin (p<0.001), Packed Cell Volume (p<0.001) levels were significantly reduced in the positive control rats compared to the treated rats. The combination therapies used in this study did not offer significantly different therapeutic advantage over the monotherapies used. The herbal formulations gave therapeutic effects on the extra-articular effects similar to that obtained from the orthodox drug used in this study.
Conclusion: The herbal formulations can serve as safe regimens for rheumatoid arthritis in our population. It is recommended that herbal formulations be considered for integration into our healthcare system for the management of rheumatoid arthritis.
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