Studies on anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities of betel nut in rodents

Document Type



Biological and Biomedical Sciences


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Areca catechu, commonly known as betel nut, is very famous for its medicinal use in multiple disorders. It is also popular as a remedy against inflammatory disorders in the Unani (Greco-Arab) system of medicine. Objective of the study: This study was aimed at investigating the anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities of the crude extract of Areca catechu and its respective fractions. Materials and methods: Paw edema, formalin-induced nociception and acetic acid-induced writhing assays were carried out in vivo. Free radical scavenging activity of the plant extract was performed in vitro. Results: Preliminary experiments using a single dose (100 mg/kg) of Areca catechu and its respective fractions demonstrated an anti-inflammatory effect on carrageenan-induced edema in mice and rats, the aqueous fraction being distinctly more effective. When studied on prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)), arachidonic acid, histamine, or serotonin (5HT)-induced edema in rats, Areca catechu and its aqueous fraction markedly repressed only the PGE(2) and arachidonic acid-induced inflammation. When studied for analgesic activity, the crude extract and its aqueous fraction produced a dose-dependent (10-100 mg/kg) inhibitory effect on formalin-induced nociception in mice and acetic acid-induced writhing in rats, similar to aspirin. In DPPH assay, Areca catechu and its aqueous fraction exhibited free radical scavenging activity with respective IC(50) values of 5.34 mu g/ml (4.93-5.78, Cl: 95%, n=5) and 7.28 mu g/ml (6.04-7.95, n = 4), like that of rutin with IC(50) value of 4.75 mu g/ml (3.89-5.42, n = 4). Conclusion: These results indicate the anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of Areca catechu and provide a rationale for its medicinal use in inflammatory disorders.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Ethnopharmacology