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.