Therapeutic potential of Bixa orellana L. in skin wounds: a study in the rat model of open wound healing

S.O. Capella M.T. Tillmann A.O.C. Félix E.G. Fontoura C.G. Fernandes R.A. Freitag M.A.Z. Santos S.R. Félix M.O. Nobre About the authors

Phytotherapies are a low cost, easily accessible alternative to traditional medicines in wound healing management. The purpose of this study was to assess the oil extract of Bixa orellana L. as a healing agent in the rat model of open wound healing. Initially, the oil was obtained and characterized through gas chromatography. Furthermore, the cytotoxic potential of the oil was verified in cell cultures to determine the doses used in animal experiments. Wounds were surgically produced in Wistar rats, these were treated with the oil extract at 0.1% (U 0.1%), 0.01% (U 0.01%), petrol jelly (V) and saline (SF) for up to 21 days. At four, seven and 14 days of treatment the wounds were assessed clinically regarding the presence of exudate, crust and epithelialization. The wound area was also determined and skin, kidney and liver tissues were harvested for histopathology. At 21 days of treatment the skins were also harvested for tension resistance assessment. Clinically, all groups evolved similarly, however, those treated with U 0.1% and U 0.01% had a greater amount of epithelialized wounds by day seven, and grater shrinkage by day four. Histopathologicaly, the skin samples of oil treated wounds had more lesions in the inflammatory phase at seven days, when compared to the controls, which were majorly in the proliferation phase. By 14 days no difference was observed among groups, which were all in the transition from the proliferation to the maturation phase. By day 21, all wounds were in the maturation phase. Oil treated wounds also had more fibrin in the first two assessment dates, when compared to the controls. Tension resistance of the oil treated wounds was, however, inferior to that of the controls. This study shows that B. orellana L. oil will hasten the onset of the healing process and its initial phases, but will ultimately produce a scar of poorer quality.

phytotherapy; annatto; fibrin; healing


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