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An oral ulcer is described by repeated or painful oral aphthae, in which oxidative stress apparently leads to its pathogenesis. The present study has been undertaken to evaluate the effects of fresh leaves and flowers of Tagetes erecta gel on oxidative stress and antioxidant levels on oral ulcer models in albino Wistar rats. The oral ulcer was induced by incision wound model and then treated with the Tagetes erecta flower and leaf extract gel for 7 days. The antioxidant activities of catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), the levels of glutathione (GSH) and malondialdehyde (MDA) were measured in rat buccal mucosal tissues. The antiulcer effects of Tagetes erecta leaf and flower extracts (2.5% and 5%) gel were intercompared with the standard drug, Triamcinolone. Ulcer induced rats exhibited elevated levels of MDA and reduced activity of SOD, GSH and CAT when compared to the control rats. The nonequilibrium levels of antioxidant were observed in rat mucosal tissues indicate that body’s antioxidant status was depleted with an oral ulcer. Tagetes erecta leaf and flower gel (5%) has been found to have higher significant antioxidant activity compared with ulcer induced rats by reducing the levels of MDA and by increasing the activities of SOD, GSH and CAT in response to oxidative stress due to induction of oral ulcers in a rat model. The findings thus justify the traditional use of Tagetes erecta to heal oral ulcer by increasing the antioxidant status and decreasing the free radical production.
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