Background Hunteria umbellata (HU) (K. Schum) is used in ethnomedicine for the management of pain, diabetes mellitus and dysmenorrhoea. This study evaluated the analgesic and antioxidant activities of aqueous extract of HU stem bark and the possible mechanism(s) of action. Methods The antinociceptive effect of HU was evaluated using acetic acid mouse writhing, tail flick, hot plate and formalin-induced paw licking models. To establish the possible mechanism(s) of action of HU, separate group of animals were pretreated with naloxone (1 mg/kg, i.p.), atropine (1 mg/kg, i.p.), haloperidol (0.1 mg/kg, i.p.), ondansetron (1 mg/kg, i.p.) and phenoxybenzamine (0.1 mg/kg, i.p.), 15 min before HU. The in vivo and in vitro antioxidant potential was evaluated using established methods. Results The extract at 150 and 300 mg/kg, significantly (p < 0.05) reduced the number of writhes and paw licking times and increased pain threshold in writhing assay, paw licking and hotplate tests respectively. Pretreatment of animals with ondansetron, naloxone and haloperidol, significantly (p < 0.05 and p < 0.01) attenuated the analgesic activity of HU. The extract demonstrated significant (p<0.05) radical scavenging activity (IC 50 0.39 µg/mL), with high phenol content and reducing property. The total phenol content was 124.19 per gram of gallic acid. In vivo antioxidant assay showed significant (p < 0.05) increase in catalase and superoxide levels. Conclusions Results obtained in this study suggest the involvement of serotonergic, opioidergic and dopaminergic pathways in the analgesic effect of HU stem bark, in addition to its potent antioxidant potential.