Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of Satureja hortensis seed extracts and to analyze their essential oil constituents. Materials and Methods: Hydroalcoholic and polyphenolic extracts and essential oil of S. hortensis seeds were prepared using standard methods. Analgesic activity was assessed in male mice (25-35 g) using standard methods (acetic acid and formalin tests). For the evaluation of anti-inflammatory activity, the carrageenan-induced rat paw edema test was used. The mice were pretreated with 50, 100 or 200 mg/kg, i.p., hydroalcoholic or polyphenolic extracts or 100 or 200 µl/kg, p.o. Results: Hydrodistillation of the seeds of S. hortensis afforded a pale yellowish oil in a yield of 0.05% (v/w). Pretreatment of mice with hydroalcoholic or polyphenolic extracts or essential oil significantly (p < 0.001) reduced acetic acid-induced abdominal twitches. Hydroalcoholic extracts also significantly reduced pain responses in early and late phases of the formalin test whereas the polyphenolic extract and essential oil were only effective in the late phase of the formalin test. All three fractions were found to reduce paw edema in the carrageenan test. Conclusion: These results clearly demonstrate the analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity of S. hortensis seeds and since the hydroalcoholic extract relieved pain in the first phase of the formalin test, it seems that at least part of its analgesic activity may be mediated centrally. The results of this study substantiated the traditional use of S. hortensis plant seeds in painful and inflammatory ailments.

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