Pain is an unpleasant sensation associated with a wide range of injuries and diseases, and affects approximately 20% of adults in the world. The discovery of new and more effective drugs that can relieve pain is an important research goal in both the pharmaceutical industry and academia. This review describes studies involving antinociceptive activity of essential oils from 31 plant species. Botanical aspects of aromatic plants, mechanisms of action in pain models and chemical composition profiles of the essential oils are discussed. The data obtained in these studies demonstrate the analgesic potential of this group of natural products for therapeutic purposes.
Keywords: analgesic; antinociceptive; aromatic plants; essential oils; formalin; medicinal plants; monoterpenes; natural products; pain; phenylpropanoids.