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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 2935403, 8 pages
Research Article

Medicinal Plants of the Australian Aboriginal Dharawal People Exhibiting Anti-Inflammatory Activity

1Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Western Sydney University, Sydney, NSW, Australia
2Department of Pharmacy, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi, Bangladesh
3National Institute of Complementary Medicine, Western Sydney University, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Received 12 August 2016; Accepted 29 November 2016

Academic Editor: Genevieve Steiner

Copyright © 2016 Most A. Akhtar et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Chronic inflammation contributes to multiple ageing-related musculoskeletal and neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease. More recently, chronic neuroinflammation has been attributed to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease and autism-spectrum and obsessive-compulsive disorders. To date, pharmacotherapy of inflammatory conditions is based mainly on nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs which in contrast to cytokine-suppressive anti-inflammatory drugs do not influence the production of cytokines such as tumour necrosis factor- or nitric oxide. However, their prolonged use can cause gastrointestinal toxicity and promote adverse events such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and thrombosis. Hence, there is a critical need to develop novel and safer nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs possessing alternate mechanism of action. In this study, plants used by the Dharawal Aboriginal people in Australia for the treatment of inflammatory conditions, for example, asthma, arthritis, rheumatism, fever, oedema, eye inflammation, and inflammation of bladder and related inflammatory diseases, were evaluated for their anti-inflammatory activity in vitro. Ethanolic extracts from 17 Eucalyptus spp. (Myrtaceae) were assessed for their capacity to inhibit nitric oxide and tumor necrosis factor- production in RAW 264.7 macrophages. Eucalyptus benthamii showed the most potent nitric oxide inhibitory effect (IC50  µg/mL), whilst E. bosistoana, E. botryoides, E. saligna, E. smithii, E. umbra, and E. viminalis exhibited nitric oxide inhibition values between 7.58 and 19.77 µg/mL.