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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2011, Vol. 9 ›› Issue (2): 216-222.doi: 10.3736/jcim20110216

• Original Experimental Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Analgesic effects of methanolic extracts of the leaf or root of Moringa oleifera on complete Freund’s adjuvant-induced arthritis in rats

Homa Manaheji1(), Soheila Jafari1, Jalal Zaringhalam1, Shamsali Rezazadeh2, Reza Taghizadfarid2   

  1. 1. Physiology Department, Neuroscience Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran
    2. Institute of Medicinal Plants, Academic Center for Education, Culture and Research (ACECR) , Tehran, Iran
  • Received:2010-07-14 Accepted:2010-11-05 Online:2011-02-20 Published:2011-02-15

Objective: Moringa oleifera (family Moringaceae) has been widely used in African folk medicine, and researchers have recently revealed its anti-inflammatory effects in human. This study aimed to evaluate the analgesic properties of methanolic extracts of M. oleifera in complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA)-induced arthritis in rats.
Methods: Adult male Wistar rats, weighing 200 to 220 g, were used in this study. Adjuvant arthritis was induced on day 0 by a single subcutaneous injection of CFA. The prepared extracts from both the root and leaf (200, 300 and 400 mg/kg) of M. oleifera were administered intraperitonealy to rats in the treatment groups 0, 3 and 6 d after CFA injection and indomethacin (5 mg/kg) was used as a positive control drug. Thermal hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia were evaluated for the analgesic effect 0, 3 and 6 d after CFA injection. Combined methanolic root and leaf extracts of M. oleifera (200 mg/kg) were also tested for the analgesic effect.
Results: The potency of the root or leaf extracts of M. oleifera (300 and 400 mg/kg) was similar to that of indomethacin, resulted in significant reductions in both thermal hyperalgesia and mechanical allodynia in rats with CFA-induced arthritis compared with the control group after 3 and 6 d, respectively (P<0.01 or P<0.05). Combined root and leaf extracts (200 mg/kg) of M. oleifera resulted in a significant reduction in thermal hyperalgesia compared with the control group after 3 and 6 d, respectively (P<0.01). Prophylactic injections of combined root and leaf extracts of M. oleifera (200 mg/kg) resulted in a significant reduction in thermal hyperalgesia compared with the control group, the root extracts group, and the leaf extracts group after 3 and 6 d, respectively (P<0.01).
Conclusion: The methanolic extracts of the root or leaf of M. oleifera are effective in the reduction of pain induced by CFA in rats. A comparison of single and combination therapies of root and leaf extracts also showed a synergistic effect on pain reduction.

Key words: Moringa oleifera, plant extracts, analgesics, arthritis, experimental, hyperalgesia, Freund’s adjuvant;, rats

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