Analysis of the phytochemical composition and anti-inflammatory properties of Lovage

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Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
Date of award
  • 2011
Thesis identifier
  • T13100
Qualification Level
Qualification Name
Department, School or Faculty
  • The common herb Lovage (Levisticum officinalis Koch) is reputed to have a variety of beneficial activities; recent studies conducted at the University of Strathclyde have indicated that Lovage possesses potential anti-inflammatory as well as other properties including anti-microbial activity. The compound(s) responsible for these activities had not been confirmed and the purpose of this project was to replicate previous results and try to further elucidate some of the compounds responsible. Hexane, chloroform, methanol and methanol/water (1:1) crude extracts were prepared from the Lovage leaves and tested using an AlamarblueTM cytotoxic assay (with a top concentration of plant extract at 1mg/ml, serial diluted 1:2 down to 0.0005mg/ml). The most cytotoxic extract was chloroform followed by hexane; both methanol and methanol/water were found to be non-cytotoxic. The anti-inflammatory properties of the crude extracts were tested in a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation assay of THP-1 (human monocytic) cells. An enzyme linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA) was used to quantify whether the extracts were able to reduce the levels of the inflammatory cytokine TNF-α, produced by LPS stimulated THP-1 cells. All extracts caused significant reduction of the inflammatory response: hexane p≤0.0001, chloroform p≤0.0001, methanol p≤0.0001 and methanol/water (1:1) p≤0.0001. Two extracts were progressed for further analysis, starting with hexane and then chloroform. Flash chromatography was used to fractionate the crude extracts into individual constituents in an attempt to isolate the purified active compound(s), which were then analysed using thin layer chromatography (TLC) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). A fraction containing a compound which consisted of a sugar group with a glycoside link to a saturated fatty acid chain was found to significantly (p≤0.0001) reduce the levels of TNF-α. Further fractions were also found to significantly reduce the levels of TNF-α, however, these require further work to separate the complex mixtures of compounds to isolate the major constituents and identify the active compound(s). Therefore, Levisticum officinalis Koch, contains multiple anti-inflammatory compounds, which have the potential to be exploited for therapeutic use.
Resource Type
Date Created
  • 2011
Former identifier
  • 943830
Embargo Note
  • The electronic version of this thesis is currently under moratorium due to a licensing issue. If you are the author of this thesis, please contact the Library to resolve this issue.