Objective: This study investigated the antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities
of the aqueous extract of Ficus capensis (AEFC) by bio-guided fractionation.
Methods: The anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of AEFC (250, 500, 1000 mg/kg, i.p)
were assessed using acetic acid-induced writhing, hot plate, tail-flick, formalin tests, and carrageenan-
induced paw edema, respectively. The AEFC was fractionated base on polarity difference into
butanol, ethyl acetate, and n-hexane fractions. The fractions (500 mg/kg) obtained were subjected
to the same experimental procedures mentioned above. The EAF, which exerted the most productive
activities, was further subjected to fractionation procedures that yielded six fractions (labeled
CF1-CF6). These fractions (200 mg/kg) were tested for potential antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory
activities. Notable antagonists (Naloxone and atropine) of the nociceptive pathway were
used to evaluate the mechanism of the antinociceptive action of F. capensis.
Results and Discussion: The AEFC, BF, EAF, and CF4 caused a significant (p<0.05) reduction in
the number of abdominal writhes, an increase in reaction time against the hot plate, tail-flick tests,
and a significant (p<0.05) inhibition in both phases of formalin test. The AEFC, BF, EAF, CF4,
and CF6 caused a significant (p<0.05) inhibition of paw edema development due to carrageenan.
Atropine significantly reversed the antinociceptive effect of CF4 in both phases of the formalin
test. The results obtained revealed that CF4 produced central and peripheral antinociceptive effects,
while CF6 is peripherally mediated.
Conclusion: The results support the traditional uses of F. capensis in the treatment of various diseases
associated with pain and inflammation. The column fraction CF4 exhibited muscarinic receptor-
mediated antinociceptive activity.