This study reports the anti-inflammatory and membrane-stabilizing property of an aqueous extract of Momordica charantia
(MC) leaves in rats. The carregeenin-induced rat paw oedema was utilized as the model for acute inflammation, whilst formaldedyde-induced rat paw oedema was used as the model for sub-chronic inflammatory states. The probable mode by which MC mediates its effects on inflammatory conditions was studied on rat blood cells (RBC) exposed to hypotonic solution. The results of the study revealed that the extract possesses anti-inflammatory property. MC was found to significantly (p < 0.05) reduced the oedema swellings induced by the phlogistic agents in rats in a dose-related manner. However, the extract did not exhibit membrane-stabilizing property, as it failed to significantly (P < 0.05) reduced the levels of haemolysis of RBC exposed to hypotonic solution. The acute toxicity studies of oral doses of aqueous extract of Momordica charantia
leaf in mice revealed that it has a high safety profile, as the extract was well tolerated by the animals. The results of the study suggest that the anti-inflammatory activity demonstrated by Momordica charantia
leaf may not be related to membrane-stabilization.