Planta Med 2010; 76(2): 107-112
DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1185950
Original Papers
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Antinociceptive Activity of the Essential Oil of Zingiber zerumbet

Mohd Roslan Sulaiman1 , 3 , Tengku Azam Shah Tengku Mohamad1 , Wan Mastura Shaik Mossadeq1 , Saidi Moin1 , Mazina Yusof3 , Ahmad Fauzi Mokhtar3 , Zainul Amiruddin Zakaria2 , Daud Ahmad Israf1 , 3 , Nordin Lajis3 , 4
  • 1Department of Biomedical Science, University Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Malaysia
  • 2Department of Pharmacology, University Teknologi Mara, Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
  • 3Institute of Bioscience, University Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Malaysia
  • 4Department of Chemistry, University Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Malaysia
Further Information

Publication History

received April 28, 2009 revised June 21, 2009

accepted June 25, 2009

Publication Date:
27 July 2009 (online)


In the present study, the rhizome essential oil from Zingiber zerumbet (Zingiberaceae) was evaluated for antinociceptive activity using chemical and thermal models of nociception, namely, the acetic acid-induced abdominal writhing test, the hot-plate test and the formalin-induced paw licking test. It was demonstrated that intraperitoneal administration of the essential oil of Z. zerumbet (EOZZ) at the doses of 30, 100 and 300 mg/kg produced significant dose-dependent inhibition of acetic acid-induced abdominal writhing, comparable to that of obtained with acetylsalicylic acid (100 mg/kg). At the same doses, the EOZZ produced significant dose-dependent increases in the latency time in the hot-plate test with respect to controls, and in the formalin-induced paw licking test, the EOZZ also significantly reduced the painful stimulus in both neurogenic and inflammatory phase of the test. In addition, the antinociceptive effect of the EOZZ in the formalin-induced paw licking test as well as hot-plate test was reversed by the nonselective opioid receptor antagonist, naloxone suggesting that the opioid system was involved in its analgesic mechanism of action. On the basis of these data, we concluded that the EOZZ possessed both central and peripheral antinociceptive activities which justifying its popular folkloric use to relieve some pain conditions.


  • 1 Larsen K, Ibrahim H, Khaw S H, Saw L G. Gingers of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Kota Kinabalu.  Nat Hist Publ (Borneo). 1999;  135-143
  • 2 Burkill I H. In: A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula, Vol 1–2. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperative 1966: 113-114
  • 3 Habsah M, Amran M, Mackeen M M, Lajis N H, Kikuzaki H, Nakatani N, Rahman A A, Ghafar, Ali A M. Screening of Zingiberaceae extracts for antimicrobial and antioxidant activities.  J Ethnopharmacol. 2000;  72 403-410
  • 4 Faizah S, Somchit M N, Shukriyah M H. Zingiber zerumbet (lempoyang): a potential anti-inflammatory agent. Malaysia; Proceedings of The Regional Symposium on Environment and Natural Resources 2002: 516-520
  • 5 Ruslay S, Abas F, Shaari K, Zainal Z, Maulidiani, Sirat H, Israf D A, Lajis N H. Characterization of the components present in the active fractions of health gingers (Curcuma xanthorrhiza and Zingiber zerumbet) by HPLC-DAD-ESIMS.  Food Chem. 2007;  104 1183-1191
  • 6 Koster R, Anderson M, Debeer E J. Acetic acid for analgesic screening.  Fed Proc. 1959;  18 412-414
  • 7 Dubuisson D, Dennis S G. The formalin test: a quantitative study of the analgesic effects of morphine, meperidine, and brain stem stimulation in rats and cats.  Pain. 1977;  4 161-174
  • 8 Eddy N B, Leimbach D. Synthetic analgesics. II. Dithienylbutenyl and dithienylbutylamines.  J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1953;  107 385-393
  • 9 Sulaiman M R, Zakaria Z A, Daud I A, Ng F N, Ng Y C, Hidayat M T. Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities of the aqueous extract of Kaempferia galanga leaves in animal models.  J Nat Med. 2008;  62 221-227
  • 10 Lorke D. A new approach to acute toxicity testing.  Arch Toxicol. 1983;  54 275-287
  • 11 Rosland J H, Hunskaar S, Hole K. Diazepam attenuates morphine antinociception test-dependently in mice.  Pharmacol Toxicol. 1990;  66 382-386
  • 12 Bentley G A, Newton S H, Starr J. Evidence for an action of morphine and the enkephalins on sensory nerve endings in the mouse peritoneum.  Brit J Pharmacol. 1981;  73 325-332
  • 13 Derardt R, Jougney S, Delevalcee F, Falhout M. Release of prostaglandins E and F in an algogenic reaction and its inhibition.  Eur J Pharmacol. 1980;  51 17-24
  • 14 Dhara A K, Suba V, Sen T, Pal S, Nag Chaudhuri A K. Preliminary studies on the anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity of the methanolic fraction of the root extract of Tragia involucrate.  J Ethnopharmacol. 2000;  72 265-268
  • 15 Vane J R, Botting R M. The mechanism of action of aspirin.  Thromb Res. 2003;  110 255-258
  • 16 Tjolsen A, Berge O G, Hunskaar S, Rosland J H, Hole K. The formalin test: an evaluation of the method.  Pain. 1992;  51 5-17
  • 17 Shibata M, Ohkubo T, Takahashi H, Inoki R. Modified formalin test: characteristic biphasic pain response.  Pain. 1989;  38 347-352
  • 18 Chane-Ming J, Vera R, Chalchat J C. Chemical composition of the essential oil from rhizomes, leaves and flowers of Zingiber zerumbet Smith from Reunion Island.  J Essent Oil Res. 2003;  15 202-205
  • 19 Srivastava A K, Srivastava S K, Shah N C. Essential oil composition of Zingiber zerumbet (L.) Sm. from India.  J Essent Oil Res. 2000;  12 595-597
  • 20 Murakami A, Miyamoto M, Ohigashi H. Zerumbone, an anti-inflammatory phytochemical, induces expression of proinflammatory cytokine genes in human colon adenocarcinoma cell lines.  BioFactors. 2004;  21 95-101
  • 21 Murakami A, Takahashi D, Koshimizu K, Ohigashi H. Synergistic suppression of superoxide and nitric oxide generation from inflammatory cells by combined food factors.  Mutat Res Fund Mol M. 2003;  523–524 151-161
  • 22 Chien T Y, Chen L G, Lee C J, Lee F Y, Wang C C. Anti-inflammatory constituents of Zingiber zerumbet.  Food Chem. 2008;  110 584-589
  • 23 Chaung H C, Ho C T, Huang T C. Anti-hypersensitive and anti-inflammatory activities of water extract of Zingiber zerumbet (L.) Smith.  Food Agric Immunol. 2008;  19 117-129
  • 24 Tewtrakul S, Subhadhirasakul S. Anti-allergic activity of some selected plants in the Zingiberaceae family.  J Ethnopharmacol. 2007;  09 535-538
  • 25 Sulaiman M R, Perimal E K, Zakaria Z A, Mokhtar F, Akhtar M N, Lajis N H, Israf D A. Preliminary analysis of the antinociceptive activity of zerumbone.  Fitoterapia. 2009;  80 230-232
  • 26 Lorenzetti B B, Souza G E, Sarti S J, Santos-Filho D, Ferreira S H. Myrcene mimics the peripheral analgesic activity of lemongrass tea.  J Ethnopharmacol. 1991;  34 43-48
  • 27 Peana A T, Rubattu P, Piga G G, Fumagalli S, Boatto G, Pippia P, De Montis M G. Involvement of adenosine A1 and A2A receptors in (−)linalool-induced antinociception.  Life Sci. 2006;  78 2471-2474
  • 28 Do Amaral J F, Silva M I G, Neto M R D A, Neto P F T, Moura B A, De Melo C T V, De Araújo F L O, De Sousa D P, De Vasconcelos P F, De Vasconcelos S M M, De Sousa F C F. Antinociceptive effect of the monoterpene R-(+)-limonene in mice.  Biol Pharm Bull. 2007;  30 1217-1220
  • 29 Batista P A, Werner M F D E P, Oliveira E C, Pereira P, Da Silva Brum L F, Soares dos Aantos A R Burgos l. Evidence for the involvement of ionotropic glutamatergic receptors on the antinociceptive effect of (−)-linalool in mice.  Neurosci Lett. 2008;  440 299-303
  • 30 Liapi C, Anifantis C, Chinou I, Kourounakis A P, Theodosopoulos S, Galanopoulou P. Antinociceptive properties of 1,8-cineole and beta-pinene, from the essential oil of Eucalyptus camaldulensis leaves, in rodents.  Planta Med. 2007;  74 1247-1254

Prof. Dr. Mohd Roslan Sulaiman

Department of Biomedical Science
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
University Putra Malaysia

43400 Serdang



Phone: + 60 3 89 47 26 03

Fax: + 60 3 89 47 25 85