The problem of morphine tolerance and dependence is a universal phenomenon threatening social health everywhere the world. The major objective of this paper was to investigate the effects of fruit essential oil (FEO) of Cuminum cyminum on acquisition and expression of morphine tolerance and dependence in mice. Animals were rendered dependent on morphine using the well-established method in which was morphine (50,50,75 mg/kg; s.c.) injected three times daily for 3 days. In experimental groups, administration of FEO (0.001, 0.01, 0.1, 0.5, 1 and 2%; 5 ml/kg; i.p.) or Tween-80 (5 ml/kg; i.p.) was performed 60 min prior to each morphine injection (for acquisition) or the last injection of morphine on test day (for expression). Morphine tolerance was measured by tail-flick before and after administration of a single dose of morphine (50 mg/kg; s.c.) in test day (4th day). Morphine dependence was also evaluated by counting the number of jumps after injection of naloxone (5 mg/kg; i.p.) on the test day. The results showed that Cumin FEO, only at the dose of 2%, significantly attenuated the development of morphine tolerance (P < 0.01) and dependence (P < 0.05) while it could be significantly effective on expression of morphine tolerance (I and 2%) and dependence (0.5, 1 and 2%) in a dose-dependent manner. Solely Cumin FEO injection (0.001-2%) did not show any analgesic effect. In conclusion, the essential oil of Cuminum cyminum seems to ameliorate the morphine tolerance and dependence in mice. (c) 2008 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.