Author(s): Muhammad N, Saeed M, Khan H, Haq I
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Abstract Viola betonicifolia (whole plant) has been used as a sedative and in various nervous disorders in Pakistani traditional medicines. The n-hexane extract of the whole plant of V. betonicifolia (HEVB) was investigated for neuropharmacological properties such as anxiolytic, muscle relaxant, sleep induction, antidepressant and sedative to ascertain its folk use. Anxiolytic activity was tested using the staircase test, while the muscle relaxing property of the extract was tested in various muscle relaxant paradigms, i.e. chimney test, traction test, rota rod and inclined plane. In anxiolytic and muscle relaxant tests, HEVB (0.3, 0.4 and 0.5 g/kg, i.p.), diazepam (1 mg/kg, i.p.) or distilled water (10 ml/kg i.p.) were administered 30, 60 and 90 min before performing the tests in mice. HEVB was also screened for a sleep-inducing effect. The antidepressant activity was determined by using the forced swimming test (FST), while line crossing in a special box was used for locomotor activity. HEVB showed a significant (P < 0.05) dose-dependent anxiolytic action in the staircase test. In muscle relaxant paradigms, a dose-dependent muscle relaxation was observed. For the phenobarbitone sleep induction test, HEVB notably (P < 0.05) reduced the latency time and increased the total sleeping duration. However, HEVB was devoid of any antidepressant activity, while the movements of mice were reduced significantly (P < 0.05) in locomotor activity. The results suggest that HEVB has anxiolytic, muscle relaxant, sleep-inducing (sedative) activity and, thus, provides pharmacological justification for the use of this plant as a sedative and for the relief of various nervous disorders.
This article was published in J Nat Med
and referenced in Orthopedic & Muscular System: Current Research