The analgesic effect of Tribulus terrestris extract and comparison of gastric ulcerogenicity of the extract with indomethacine in animal experiments

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2007 Jan:1095:418-27. doi: 10.1196/annals.1397.045.


Tribulus terrestris has been used in traditional medicine for relieving rheumatic pain and as an analgesic plant for a long time. In this investigation the analgesic effect of methanolic extract of this plant on male albino mice was evaluated by formalin and tail flick test. Extraction of the fruits of the plant was done by two different methods (suxheletion and percolation) with methanol 80%. The percolated extract was injected intraperitoneally in mice at 50, 100, 200, 400, and 800 mg/kg. The results showed that a dose of 100 mg/kg of percolated extract had the highest significant analgesic effect compared to the control group (P < 0.01) in formalin and tail flick test. There is no significant difference in the analgesic effect of suxheleted and percolated extract. The analgesic effect of the extract was lower than morphine, 2.5 mg/kg in both tests, and higher than ASA 300 mg/kg in chronic phase of pain in formalin test (P < 0.05). Pretreatment of animal with naloxone did not change the analgesia induced by the plant extract in both tests, therefore the involvement of opioid receptor in the analgesic effect of this plant was excluded. The results of ulcerogenic studies indicate that the gastric ulcerogenecity of plant extract is lower than the indomethacin in the rat's stomach. It can therefore be concluded that T. terrestris extract has a suitable analgesic effect and further studies are required to produce a more effective product of this plant to substitute for conventional analgesic drugs.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / adverse effects
  • Analgesics / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Indomethacin / adverse effects
  • Indomethacin / pharmacology*
  • Iran
  • Male
  • Medicine, Traditional
  • Mice
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / adverse effects
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Stomach Ulcer / chemically induced*
  • Tribulus*


  • Analgesics
  • Plant Extracts
  • Indomethacin