Ethnopharmacological relevance: Piper sarmentosum (Piperaceae) is a medicinal plant traditionally used by the Malays to treat headaches, toothaches, coughs, asthma and fever.
Aim of the study: In order to establish the pharmacological properties of the leaf of this plant, studies were performed on anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities.
Materials and methods: The aqueous extract of Piper sarmentosum (AEPS) was prepared in the doses of 30, 100 and 300 mg/kg. Anti-nociceptive activity of AEPS was evaluated by abdominal constriction and hot-plate tests. AEPS was also pre-challenged with 5mg/kg naloxone to determine the involvement of opioid receptors. Anti-inflammatory activity was evaluated using carrageenan-induced paw edema assay.
Results: Subcutaneous administration of AEPS exhibited anti-nociceptive activity (P<0.05) in a dose-dependent manner in the abdominal constriction and hot-plate tests. Pre-treatment with naloxone completely (P<0.05) diminished the extract anti-nociceptive activity in both tests. The AEPS, at all doses used, exerted significant (P<0.05) anti-inflammatory activity in a dose-dependent manner.
Conclusions: The AEPS exhibits opioid-mediated anti-nociceptive activity at the peripheral and central levels, as well as anti-inflammatory activity, which confirmed the traditional uses of the plant in the treatment of pain- and inflammatory-related ailments.
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