This study undertaken to screen a potential wound healing activity of an ethanolic extract of Anacardium occidentale (Ao)leaves in Wistar rats. Excision wound of 500mm2created on the back of Wistar rats. A total of thirty adult Wistar rats were prescreened and divided into five groups of six rats each. Group I and II rats were treated by normal saline (control) and povidone-iodine (standard drug), respectively. Group III and IV with 0.5% and 2% of Anacardium occidentale ointment (test drugs), respectively, and Group V rats treated with anti-wound healer drug dexamethasone, i.m. + 2% Anacardium occidentale. All drugs were applied topically except Inj. dexamethasone. In the model of excision wound, the wound healing effect was determined by parameters such as the percentage of wound contraction, duration of epithelialization, and histopathological examination. All drugs, povidone-iodine, 0.5%, and 2% of the Ao ointment treated group of rats showed a statistically significant increase (P<0.05) in the % of wound contraction on 5th and 6thdays Vs.Control rats. In contrast,povidone-iodine, 2% Ao ointment and (dexamethasone + 2% Ao)treated rats decreased the period of epithelialization which was statistically significant (P<0.05) compared to the control. However, the standard povidone-iodine treated rats showed a maximum increase in the percentage of wound contraction and minimum period of epithelialization, followed by a higher dose of 2% Ao extract. The plant extract 0.5% and 2% of Ao showed a significant increase in the rate of wound contraction as compared to the standard drug povidone-iodine also. The combination of (2%Aoextract+dexamethasone) drug-treated rats decreased the rate of wound contraction on 5th, 9th days; whereas, povidone-iodine increased on all days, i.e., 5th, 9th, 13th and 17th days,which was statistically significant (p<0.05) Vs. Normal saline. The povidone and 2% of Ao extract hastened the rate of wound healing activity, which was evident by maximum re-epithelialization and presence of the collagen fibers. In our study, the topical application of Anacardium occidentale leaf extract has shown promising wound healing activity; however, it failed to reverse the anti-wound healing property of steroids.
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