Nepeta adenophyta Hedge (Lamiaceae) is an endemic therapeutic herb from Astore, Gilgit. This plant species has been reported among the local communities, especially for treating abdominal pain, kidney pain, menstrual pain, headache, and controlling bleeding disorders. Therefore, the scientific basis is provided for the relief of pain as it is used in various pain management among the natives, especially as ethnogynecological herbal remedy.
The present study investigates the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of the ethanolic extract of N. adenophyta in animal models. Furthermore, the extract was also studied to determine their valuable phytoconstituents.
The biological effects were determined via tail-flick, hot plate, and acetic-acid-induced abdominal writhing methods. At the same time, anti-inflammatory activity was assesed via oxidative burst and antioxidant DPPH assay. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) techniques were employed to understand the phytochemicals present in the crude ethanolic extract of Nepeta adenophyta.
In the current study, N. adenophyta extract exhibited potent analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects on different pain models and indicated that the analgesic effect of N. adenophyta extract is mediated both in central and peripheral ways. Dose-dependent and significant (P < 0.05) increases were shown in pain threshold, at 45 min post-treatment, with 20 and 40 mg/kg of the extract in the tail-flick model. The effects of the extract were similar to aspirin but lower to those by morphine (2.5 mg/kg) in the same tests. The extract (20-40 mg/kg) showed dose-dependent inhibition of writhing with a significant (P < 0.001) increase protection against thermal stimuli in hot plate test as compared to control and similar to aspirin and morphine. Further, the anti-inflammatory activity of the crude in oxidative burst and DPPH assays showed significant inhibitory activity. The chemical profile analysis showed major phytochemicals, including long chain derivatives of alkane and alcohol, phenolics, naphthalene, naphthopyran, androsten phenanthrenone, etc. CONCLUSIONS: Nepeta adenophyta Hedge is suggested as a natural alternative for mild pain relief. Our findings endorse the folklore use of N. adenophyta in different pain managements which can be attributed to the presence of polyphenolic compounds, naphthalene derivatives, flavanoids and nepetalactones etc.