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J Ethnopharmacol. 2013 Nov 25;150(2):583-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2013.09.007. Epub 2013 Sep 16.

Antinociceptive effects of ethanolic extract from the flowers of Acmella oleracea (L.) R.K. Jansen in mice.

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Department of Pharmacology, Sector of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Parana, Curitiba, PR, Brazil.



In Brazil, Acmella oleracea (L.) R.K. Jansen, popularly known as "jambu", has been used by some communities from Amazon region to treat toothache. In this study we examined the antinociceptive effect of the ethanolic extract obtained from the flowers of Acmella oleracea (EEAO) in animal models of nociceptive (chemical and thermal) and neuropathic (partial sciatic nerve ligation) pain.


Adult male mice were treated by intraperitoneal route (i.p.) with EEAO before the induction of nociceptive response by formalin, capsaicin and cinnamaldehyde, thermal heat hyperalgesia (hot plate test) and mechanical allodynia (traumatic sciatic nerve injury). Acute toxicity and non-specific sedative effects were evaluated.


EEAO (10, 30 and 100 mg/kg) reduced both neurogenic and inflammatory phases of the formalin- and also capsaicin- and cinnamaldehyde-induced orofacial nociception. Interestingly, EEAO at 100mg/kg (i.p.) also reversed capsaicin-induced heat hyperalgesia assessed as the latency to paw withdrawal in the hot plate test. Also in the hot plate test, paw withdrawal latency was increased by EEAO (100 mg/kg) and this response was only partially reversed by naloxone. Furthermore, EEAO (100 mg/kg) also reduced mechanical allodynia caused by partial sciatic nerve ligation for 3 h. The estimated LD50 value was 889.14 mg/kg and EEAO did not alter the locomotion of animals in the open-field test.


Taken together, our data show that EEAO produces prevalent antinociceptive effects and does not cause adverse effects. The presence of N-alkylamides, including spilanthol, suggests that the therapeutic effect of EEAO is related to its highest anesthetic activity.


Acmella oleracea; Anesthetic; Antinociceptive; Jambu

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