The Study of Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Oil-Based Dill (Anethum graveolens L.) Extract Used Topically in Formalin-Induced Inflammation Male Rat Paw

Document Type: Research article


1 Traditional Medicine Clinical Trial Research Center, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran.

2 School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 School of Medicine Shahed University, Tehran, Iran.

4 School of Traditional Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

5 School of Iranian Traditional Medicine, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Ardakan, Yazd, Iran.


Inflammation is one of the symptoms of many common and harmful diseases. As it is incurable through chemical drugs, the study on this ailment using new methods and drugs seems necessary. In addition, the adverse effects of the present anti-inflammatory drugs like NSAIDS and Glucocorticoid appeared in the long time use make such study more demanded. Accordingly, in this study we examined the effects of aerial organs’ extract and seed of a plant commonly used in Iranian traditional medicine named Dill on the inflammation caused by plantar injection of formalin in rats and compared them with Diclofenac-gel.
One of the methods used for the inflammation assessment is injecting formalin in the rat paw and then measuring the paw volume by the new plethysmometer (weighing method). The assessment is done at a specific time on day for 8 days and then recorded.
This study includes 3 groups of 6 male rats: Formalin, Dill-Oil and Diclofenac-gel groups.
The Dill-Oil group received 2 g of Dill-Oil, containing 100 mg Dill-extract and the Diclofenac group received 2 g gel containing, 20 mg Diclofenac Na.
Data were analyzed with SPSS 17 using ANOVA, Kruskal-Wallis, and Repeated-Measures.
The average paw volumes changes in these groups after Formalin-induced inflammation on 1st day, were 0.31 (standard error (SEM) = 0.02), 0.30 (SEM = 0.01) and 0.32 (SEM = 0.05) respectively, with no significant difference.
Regarding the peak of inflammation on the 2nd day, it was indicated that the average inflammations in Formalin, Dill-Oil and Diclofenac-gel groups were 0.44 (SEM = 0.03), 0.15 (SEM = 0.04) and 0.36 (SEM = 0.08), respectively.
The paw volume changes in groups receiving Dill-oil and Diclofenac-gel, after the daily formalin injection in 8 days compared to the blank group, had a significant decrease (p < 0.001). The Dill group showed even more decrease in the paw volume compared to the Diclofenac one.
The results of paw volume measurement analyzed by the Plethysmometer manifest that the Dill-Oil is able to decrease the paw volume significantly.



   Though inflammation has the ability to act as an anti-septic agent, it can also improve the healing process of the wound, together with the whole healing process, have a significant potential to cause afflictions and problems (1).

   Among the most significant health problems all around the world are the acute and chronic inflammatory diseases. Although numerous medications are known to treat the inflammatory diseases, their prolonged use mostly leads to gastrointestinal intolerance, bone marrow depression, water and salt retention and etc. (2).

   Now, day-by-day, several different synthetic drugs of better efficacy are being introduced. But apart from being effective, most of them induce adverse side effects; especially in the patients with chronic inflammatory diseases (3). Because of this, most of the research is moving towards integrating complementary medicine with the mainstream medicine to increase efficacy and to decrease side effects and costs. So in this study, "Dill", a native plant of Iran with a long history of consumption, less side effects and cost-effectiveness, is used (4).

   Dill is a plant from the Apiaceae family characterized by a hollow, straight, branched off 40-120 cm long st