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J Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Sep;94(1):93-100.

Evaluation of antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory and antiulcerogenic activities of Maytenus ilicifolia.

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Laboratório de Toxicologia Experimental, Faculdade de Farmácia, UFMG, Av. Olegário Maciel, 2360/613, 30180-112, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.


Maytenus ilicifolia (Celastraceae) is a native plant from Tropical Atlantic Forest (Mata Atlântica, Brazil) called 'espinheira-santa'. This plant is traditionally used as anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antiulcerogenic. Many studies focusing pharmacological and toxicological aspects of the plant have been performed. The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy (anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activities and protection against gastric lesions, including cytoprotection and healing) and phytochemical profile of hexane and ethylacetate extracts of Maytenus ilicifolia. Per os administration of these extracts inhibited nociception and formaldehyde-induced paw oedema in mice and carrageenin-induced paw oedema in rats. Severity of gastric lesions induced by cold-restraint stress (-18 degrees C for 45 min) method was also clearly reduced in rats considering both cytoprotection and healing aspects. Administration of the extracts led to volume gastric and pH increase. These results suggest that hexane and ethylacetate extracts of Maytenus ilicifolia may represent an important clinical alternative in anti-inflammatory and antiulcerogenic therapeutics, though, further experiments should be performed to confirm this assertion.

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