Anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity of different extracts of Commiphora myrrha

J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Mar 24;134(2):251-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2010.12.003. Epub 2010 Dec 15.


Aim of the study: This present study was carried out to evaluate the anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of 85% ethanol extract (EE) of Commiphora myrrha and its different fractions partitioned with petroleum ether extract (EPE), ethyl acetate extract (EEA), n-butanol extract (EBu), and the water extract (ECY). Moreover, the chemical constituents in EPE were analyzed and identified by UPLC-QTOF/MS/MS.

Materials and methods: The anti-inflammatory activities were investigated by utilizing the paw edema mice induced by formalin. In addition, we determined the levels of PGE(2) in the edema paw. While the analgesic activity was examined against thermally and chemically induced nociceptive pain in mice, using the acetic acid and hot-plate test methods. The effects of the administration of dolantin or indomethacin were also studied for references. The components in EPE were analyzed by the ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrum.

Results: In the anti-inflammatory test, EE inhibited the development of paw swelling induced by formalin significantly. The pharmacological activities of the petroleum ether fraction (EPE) were stronger than the EE extract and other fractions at the dose of 100mg/kg, and furthermore significantly decreased the levels of inflammatory factor PGE(2) in the edema paw tissue at the fourth hour after formalin injection. It has been also shown that the ethanol extract (EE) significantly reduced acetic acid-induced writhing response in mice at the dose of 200mg/kg, and 100mg/kg. The petroleum ether fraction (EPE) showed significant analgesic activity in the model at the dose of 100mg/kg (p<0.01), and the ethyl acetate fraction (EEA) exhibited less analgesic activity (p<0.05). All test samples showed no significant analgesic activity on the hot plate pain threshold in mice. The UPLC-MS/MS chromatogram analysis of EPE stated that EPE contains the ingredients of sesquiterpenes, diterpenes, and diterpenic acids. Moreover, seven main compounds were identified.

Conclusion: These data demonstrated that the EE and EPE posses analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities and may support the fact the traditional application of this herb in treating various diseases associated with inflammatory pain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetic Acid
  • Analgesics / isolation & purification
  • Analgesics / pharmacology
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Commiphora / chemistry*
  • Dinoprostone / metabolism
  • Edema / chemically induced
  • Edema / drug therapy
  • Formaldehyde
  • Hot Temperature
  • Indomethacin / pharmacology
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Meperidine / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Pain / chemically induced
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Pain Threshold / drug effects
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Resins, Plant
  • Terpenes / pharmacology
  • Terpenes / therapeutic use*


  • Analgesics
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Resins, Plant
  • Terpenes
  • Formaldehyde
  • Meperidine
  • Dinoprostone
  • Acetic Acid
  • Indomethacin