Promising Antioxidant Activity of Erythrina Genus: An Alternative Treatment for Inflammatory Pain?

Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Dec 29;22(1):248. doi: 10.3390/ijms22010248.


The negative impact that oxidative stress has on health is currently known. The complex mechanism of free radicals initiates a series of chain reactions that contribute to the evolution or development of different degenerative disorders. Likewise, these disorders are usually accompanied by inflammatory processes and, therefore, pain. In this sense, reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been shown to promote the nociceptive process, but effective treatment of pain and inflammation still represents a challenge. Over time, it has been learned that there is no single way to relieve pain, and as long as there are no other alternatives, the trend will continue to apply multidisciplinary management, such as promote the traditional use of the Erythrina genus to manage pain and inflammation. In this sense, the Erythrina genus produces a wide range of secondary metabolites, including flavanones, isoflavones, isoflavones, and pterocarpans; these compounds are characterized by their antioxidant activity. Phenolic compounds have demonstrated their ability to suppress pro-oxidants and inhibit inflammatory signaling pathways such as MAPK, AP1, and NFκB. Although there is preclinical evidence supporting its use, the pharmacological effect mechanisms are not entirely clear. Nowadays, there is a fast advancement in knowledge of the disciplines related to drug discovery, but most of nature's medicinal potential has not yet been harnessed. This review analyzes the decisive role that the Erythrina genus could play in managing inflammatory pain mediated by its compounds and its uses as an antioxidant.

Keywords: Erythrina; antioxidant; inflammatory pain; prenylated flavonoids.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Complementary Therapies* / methods
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Erythrina / chemistry*
  • Free Radical Scavengers / chemistry
  • Free Radical Scavengers / pharmacology
  • Free Radical Scavengers / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / complications*
  • Medicine, Traditional / methods
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Pain / drug therapy
  • Pain / etiology*
  • Pain / metabolism
  • Pain Management
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Plant Extracts