Comparing the analgesic effect of hydroalcoholic extract of green tea and sodium salicylate in the formalin test in rats

Farinaz Nasirinezhad, Pourang Basir, Hamideh Raiati, Mahsa Asghari


Background: Green tea is believed to have some health promoting benefits. Among them anti-inflammatory properties are proposed to cause an analgesic effect. Few studies also have given it a central role to inhibit pain. The aim of this experiment was to compare the anti-nociception effects of green tea extract and sodium salicylate on neurogenic and inflammatory pain induced by formalin injection.

Methods: The experiment was done on 31 male Wistar rats. They were randomly divided into four groups: normal saline treated (control), sodium salicylate treated and the other two groups were treated with different dosages of green tea extracts (200 and 300 mg/kg) intra-peritoneally. All subjects underwent the standard formalin test 30 minutes after the treatments and were followed for 60 minutes.

Results: In the early and the intermediate phases of the study, treatment with 200 mg/kg (p=0.01 for early phase; p = 0.02 for intermediate phase) and 300 mg/kg (p = 0.02 for intermediate phases) of green tea extract demonstrated lower levels of pain in comparison with sodium salicylate but not with the control group (p > 0.05). In the late phase of the test, the control group had significantly higher nociception scores than the other groups (P = 0.018 for green tea 200 mg/kg, P = 0.038 green tea 300 mg/kg, and p = 0.016 for sodium salicylate). The green tea treated groups and those treated with sodium salicylate showed similar nociception scores in the late phase of formalin test (p > 0.05).

Conclusion:Green tea extract administration seems to be effective against painful feelings at least in an inflammatory condition. This effect of green tea is comparable with sodium Salicylate. This finding is such a confirmatory data according to other investigations and might be clues to utilize proven safer analgesics.


Green Tea; Analgesic Effects; Formalin Test; Sodium Salicylate

Full Text:



Cooper R, Morré DJ, Morré DM. Medicinal benefits of green tea: Part I. Review of noncancer health benefits. J Altern Complement Med. 2005;11(3):521-8.

Fujiki H. Green tea: health benefits as cancer preventive for humans. Chem Rec. 2005;5(3):119-32.

Cooper R. Green tea and theanine: health benefits. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2012;63(sup1):90-7.

Hosseini M, Yousefifard M, Aziznejad H, Nasirinezhad F. The Effect of Bone Marrow–Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation on Allodynia and Hyperalgesia in Neuropathic Animals: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2015;21(9):1537-44.

Nasirinezhad F, Hosseini M, Karami Z, Yousefifard M, Janzadeh A. Spinal 5-HT3 receptor mediates nociceptive effect on central neuropathic pain; possible therapeutic role for tropisetron. J Spinal Cord Med. 2016;39(2):212-9.

Yousefifard M, Nasirinezhad F, Manaheji HS, Janzadeh A, Hosseini M, Keshavarz M. Human bone marrow-derived and umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells for alleviating neuropathic pain in a spinal cord injury model. Stem Cell Res Ther. 2016;7(1):1.

Yousefifard M, Rahimi-Movaghar V, Nasirinezhad F, Baikpour M, Safari S, Saadat S, et al. Neural stem/progenitor cell transplantation for spinal cord injury treatment; A systematic review and meta-analysis. Neuroscience. 2016;322:377-97.

Jeong C, Bae D, Lim H, Lee M, Kang N, Kim S. Ameliorative effects of green tea seed extract with rose hip powder (Rosa canina L.) on regulation of pain and inflammatory cytokines in a rat model of monosodium iodoacetate-induced experimental osteoarthritis. Animal Cells Syst. 2015;19(1):69-77.

Arzi A, Ghorbanzadeh B, Khorasgani ZN. Antinociceptive effect of hydroalcoholic extract of Iranian green tea in the formalin test in rats. Jundishapur J Nat Pharm Prod. 2013;8(1):10.

Chattopadhyay C, Chakrabarti N, Chatterjee M, Chatterjee S, Bhattacharyay D, Ghosh D. Evaluation of acute anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities of green tea decoction on experimental animal models. Int J Nutr Pharmacol Neurol Dis. 2012;2(1):20.

Shahakbari R, Eshghpour M, Rajaei A, Rezaei N, Golfakhrabadi P, Nejat A. Effectiveness of green tea mouthwash in comparison to chlorhexidine mouthwash in patients with acute pericoronitis: a randomized clinical trial. Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2014;43(11):1394-8.

Raposo D, Morgado C, Pereira-Terra P, Tavares I. Nociceptive spinal cord neurons of laminae I–III exhibit oxidative stress damage during diabetic neuropathy which is prevented by early antioxidant treatment with epigallocatechin-gallate (EGCG). Brain Res Bull. 2015;110:68-75.

Choi JI, Kim WM, Lee HG, Kim YO, Yoon MH. Role of neuronal nitric oxide synthase in the antiallodynic effects of intrathecal EGCG in a neuropathic pain rat model. Neurosci Lett. 2012;510(1):53-7.

Dubuisson D, Dennis SG. The formalin test: a quantitative study of the analgesic effects of morphine, meperidine, and brain stem stimulation in rats and cats. Pain. 1978;4:161-74.

Hunskaar S, Hole K. The formalin test in mice: dissociation between inflammatory and non-inflammatory pain. Pain. 1987;30(1):103-14.

Shibata M, Ohkubo T, Takahashi H, Inoki R. Modified formalin test: characteristic biphasic pain response. Pain. 1989;38(3):347-52.

Chacko SM, Thambi PT, Kuttan R, Nishigaki I. Beneficial effects of green tea: a literature review. Chin Med. 2010;5(1):1.

C Jurado-Coronel J, Echeverria V, Hidalgo OA, Gonzalez J, Aliev G, E Barreto G. Implication of Green Tea as a Possible Therapeutic Approach for Parkinson Disease. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2016;15(3):292-300.

Chattopadhyay C, Chakrabarti N, Chatterjee M, Chatterjee S, Bhattacharyay D, Ghosh D. Evaluation of acute anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities of green tea decoction on experimental animal models. Int J Nutr Pharmacol Neurol Dis. 2012;2(1):20.

Renno WM, Saleh F, Klepacek I, Al-Khaledi G, Ismael H, Asfar S. Green tea pain modulating effect in sciatic nerve chronic constriction injury rat model. Nutr Neurosci. 2013;9(1-2):41-7.

Wallace JL. Prostaglandins, NSAIDs, and gastric mucosal protection: why doesn't the stomach digest itself? Physiol Rev. 2008;88(4):1547-65.

Trevisan G, Rossato MF, Tonello R, Hoffmeister C, Klafke JZ, Rosa F, et al. Gallic acid functions as a TRPA1 antagonist with relevant antinociceptive and antiedematogenic effects in mice. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2014;387(7):679-89.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2016 Journal of Medical Physiology