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Ghizlane Hajjaj*, Amina Bounihi, Mouna Tajani, Yahia Cherrah, andAmina Zellou


Natural products have served as a source of medicines for centuries, and about half of the pharmaceuticals in use today are rerived from natural products. Matricaria chamomilla L. (asteraceae) has been widely used in traditional medicine to treat wounds, fever, intestinal worms, headache, inflammations, menstrual problems, sore throat etc. The aim of this study is to investigate the acute peripheral activity of the essential oil (EO) and aqueous extracts (AE) of Matricaria chamomilla L. aerial parts by acetic acid induced writhing reflex test in mice and acute central analgesic activity by tail immersion method in rats. The essential oil obtained by hydrodistillation was analyzed by gas chromatography−mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Matricaria chamomilla L. essential oil major constituents were: Chamazulene (25.21 %), Cis-beta-farnesene (12.51 %), Eucalyptol (9.19 %), Coumarin (7.72 %), Galaxolide (6.28 %), Camphor (4.3 %) and Salicylic Acid (2.62 %). From the results of this study essential oil of Matricaria chamomilla .L (100, 200 and 300 mg/kg p.o.) and aqueous extract (200, 400 and 600 mg/kg p.o.) have exhibited analgesic activity in the tested models. In the acetic acid-induced writhing model, both extracts had a good analgesic effect characterized by a reduction in the number of writhes when compared to the control and reference drug. For the tail immersion method EOMC exhibited significant analgesic activity at low dose of 200 mg/kg comparable to the aqueous extract at higher a dose of 600 mg/kg. The finding showed that the Matricaria chamomilla L. extracts shows a potent central and peripheral analgesic effect comparable to the reference drug (morphine and aspirin) (P<0.05). Our results suggest that Matricaria chamomilla L. extracts presents analgesic properties, which are mediated through central inhibitory mechanism.

Keywords: Matricaria chamomilla L., Analgesic activity, Essential oil, Writhing response

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