Trigonella foenum-graecum L. (Leguminosae), known in Morocco as “Helba”, is used in folk medicine for its anti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory, cicatrizing activities and to treat various pain-related physiological conditions. In the present study, we attempted to verify the possible antinociceptive action of different extracts obtained from the seeds of this plant. Three experimental models were used (acetic acid, formalin, and hot-plate tests) in order to characterize the analgesic effect. The extracts significantly, and in a dose-dependent manner, reduced the pain induced by intraperitoneal injection of acetic acid. In the formalin test, the extracts, except ethyl acetate extract (Tfge), significantly reduced the painful stimulus but only in the early phase of the test. On the contrary, these extracts, except Tfge, were ineffective to increase the latency of licking or jumping in the hot plate test. These results suggest that the compounds present in the extracts activated both central and peripheral mechanisms to elicit the analgesic effect.
Key words: Trigonella foenum-graecum seeds, writhing test, formalin test, hot-plate test, nociception, mice, rats.
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