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Plant extracts with anti-inflammatory properties — A new approach for characterization of their bioactive compounds and establishment of structure–antioxidant activity relationships

Medicinal plants have long been used in traditional medicine for therapeutic purposes and their healing effects have well been recognized since ancient times. Geranium robertianum L. and Uncaria tomentosa (Willd.) DC. are medicinal plants with many therapeutic applications, being used in the treatment of antiinflammatory and anti-cancer diseases. G. robertianum L. belongs to the family of Geraniacea and is native from central and meridian Europe and Asia. U. tomentosa (Willd.) DC. is a climbing liana, belonging to the Rubiaceae family, which grows in the Amazon forests of Peru, and is locally known as ‘Uña de Gato’. The aqueous extract and decoction of the bark of this plant are widely used in traditional Peruvian medicine for the treatment of cancer, relief of arthritis pain and gastritis, probably due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, throughout the inhibition of TNF-a production and prostaglandin modulation.