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Development of a novel herbal balm with Leea indica (Burm.f.) Merr (Burulla) leaf extract and in vitro evaluation of anti-inflammatory and radical scavenging activities
Sujeewa Krishanthi Hettihewa, Thotawaththage Loshadhi Indunika Srilal

The demand for the utilization of herbal medicine is rising due to their high efficacy, affordability, ease of use, better adaptability with human body and lesser side effects. Leea indica (Burm.f.)Merr. (Burulla) is a medicinal plant used in Sri Lankan traditional medicine for treating many diseases. The present study was aimed to formulate a novel herbal balm with Leea indica (Burm.f.) Merr. leaf extract and evaluate in vitro antiinflammatory and antioxidant activities. Two different defatted crude extracts namely, 70% aqueous acetone and 80% aqueous methanol were prepared and subjected to preliminary phytochemical screening. Different formulations (Fb1-Fb4) were developed by incorporating freeze dried powder of most active, defatted 70% aqueous acetone extract and tested for their physicochemical stability parameters for period of 60 days. Formulations were tested for in vitro anti-inflammatory activity (by Human Red Blood Cell membrane stabilization assay) and in vitro radical scavenging activity {(by 2, 2- diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay)}. The phytochemical screening of tested extracts revealed the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, phenols, tannins, saponins, terpenoids, carbohydrates and phytosterols in both extracts. Among the formulated balms, Fb4 showed the highest values of percentage inhibition (75.084 ± 0.193 % of heat induced hemolysis at the concentration of 12.5 mg/mL) and in vitro radical scavenging activity (2.892 ± 0.008 mmol Trolox per 100 g of balm). All formulations showed no remarkable variation in stability parameters during the period observed. It is concluded that the formulated balms have promising in vitro anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities and Fb4 is recommended for further investigations of clinical trials.

Keywords: Leea indica, herbal balm, anti-inflammatory, radical scavenging activity