Curcuma aeruginosa (C. aeruginosa) Roxb. (Zingiberaceae) is known in Thai as Waan-Ma-Haa-Mek. The rhizomes of this plant have been used as a component of Thai herbal medicinal recipes used for decreasing dysmenorrhea. In the present study, the analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory actions of this plant were investigated in experimental animals. The rhizomes of C. aeruginosa were extracted with chloroform, methanol and water to give chloroform, methanol and aqueous extracts, respectively. The effects of the three extracts on nociceptive response using writhing, hot plate and formalin tests in mice were performed. The antipyretic activity in yeast-induced fever and the anti-inflammatory activity in carrageenin-induced edema in rats, were examined. The LD value of orally administered the chloroform extract and methanol extract in mice was 3.03 g/kg. No dead mice were observed after oral administration of aqueous extract at the dose of 10 g/kg. Oral administration of the chloroform extract and the methanol extract of C. aeruginosa rhizomes (100-400 mg/kg) significantly decreased the number of writhings and stretchings induced by acetic acid. Only the chloroform extract suppressed the licking activity of the late phase in the formalin test in mice. All extracts of C. aeruginosa rhizomes had no effects on heat-induced pain in mice, yeast-induced fever and carrageenin-induced edema in rats. These results suggest that the chloroform extract of C. aeruginosa rhizome possesses analgesic effect via a different mechanism from that of the aspirin.
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