Gout is an inflammatory joint disorder characterized by hyperuricaemia and precipitation of monosodium urate crystals in the joints. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the anti-inflammatory effect of trikatu, a herbal compound in monosodium urate crystal-induced inflammation in rats, an experimental model for acute gouty arthritis. Paw volume and levels/activities of lysosomal enzymes, lipid peroxidation, anti-oxidant status and histopathological examination of ankle joints were determined in control and monosodium urate crystal-induced rats. In addition, analgesic (acetic acid-induced writhing response), anti-pyretic (yeast-induced pyrexia) and gastric ulceration effects were tested. The levels of lysosomal enzymes, lipid peroxidation and paw volume were significantly increased, and anti-oxidant status was found to be reduced in monosodium urate crystal-induced rats, whereas the biochemical changes were reverted to near normal levels upon trikatu (1000 mg/kg b.wt) administration. The trikatu has also been found to exhibit significant analgesic and anti-pyretic effects with the absence of gastric damage. In conclusion, the present results clearly indicated that trikatu exert a potent anti-inflammatory effect against monosodium urate crystal-induced inflammation in rats in association with analgesic and anti-pyretic effects in the absence of gastrointestinal damage. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.