Ethnomedicine: Scientists look at the antinociceptive effects of the cockscomb vegetable

The cockscomb (Celosia cristata) is an ornamental vegetable that is used as an analgesic in Bangladeshi ethnomedicine. A Bangladeshi study reported that the methanol extract of the plant possessed strong antinociceptive activity.

The Stamford University Bangladesh supported the study. Its findings were published in the science journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

  • The researchers created two thermal pain models – the hot plate and tail immersion tests – to test the pain reaction of mice. They also set up a trio of chemical pain models – acetic acid, formalin, and glutamate-induced nociception tests.
  • In all five models, mice were treated with 50, 100, 200, or 400 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) of the cockscomb extract. They were also given naloxone to test the involvement of opioid receptors in the painkilling effect, glibenclamide for any link with the ATP-sensitive potassium ion channel, and methylene blue to indicate if the cGMP pathway was being used.
  • The extract displayed strong central and peripheral antinociceptive activity in all five pain models, being able to greatly reduce pain stemming from heat and chemicals. Bigger doses resulted in stronger pain-relieving effects.
  • Naloxone and glibenclamide significantly reduced the painkilling effect of the cockscomb extract. The inhibitory effects showed that the opioid receptors and the ATP-sensitive potassium ion channel system were involved in the extract’s antinociceptive effect.
  • The methylene blue test showed that the cGMP pathway was also part of the extract’s painkilling effect.

The researchers believe that their findings provided scientific basis for the use of the cockscomb as an analgesic in traditional Bangladeshi medicine. They also suggest further investigation to identify the active ingredients behind the antinociceptive effect of the plant.

You can read the full study at this link.

For more articles on medicinal plants, visit

Journal reference

Islam S, Shajib MS, Ahmed T. ANTINOCICEPTIVE EFFECT OF METHANOL EXTRACT OF CELOSIA CRISTATA LINN. IN MICE. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 22 October 2016;16(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-016-1393-5.

comments powered by Disqus