Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of olive oil (Olea europeae L.) in mice

Pharm Biol. 2012 Mar;50(3):332-7. doi: 10.3109/13880209.2011.600318. Epub 2011 Nov 15.


Context: Olive [Olea europaea L. (Oleaceae)] is a long-lived evergreen tree that is widespread in different parts of the world.

Objective: Olive oil has been reported to relieve pain; however, there is still insufficient data in the literature on the subject. Thus, it is considered worthwhile investigating the antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of olive oil in adult male Balb/C mice.

Materials and methods: The antinociceptive effects were studied using formalin, hot plate and writhing tests. The acute anti-inflammatory effects of olive oil in mice were studied using xylene ear edema test. Olive oil (1, 5 and 10 ml/kg body wt.) was injected intraperitoneally. Intact animals served as controls.

Results: Our results showed that the olive oil only decreased the second phase of formalin-induced pain. In the hot plate test, olive oil did not raise the pain threshold over the 60 min duration of the test. Olive oil exhibited antinociceptive activity against writhing-induced pain by acetic acid. In the xylene ear edema test, olive oil showed significant anti-inflammatory activity in the mice.

Discussion and conclusion: The present data indicated that olive oil has antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects in mice but further investigation of these effects is required to elucidate the mechanism(s) involved in analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of Olea europaea oil.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / administration & dosage
  • Analgesics / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Edema / drug therapy
  • Edema / physiopathology
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Olea / chemistry
  • Olive Oil
  • Pain / drug therapy
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Plant Oils / administration & dosage
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*


  • Analgesics
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Olive Oil
  • Plant Oils