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Anti-Anxiety Activity Studies on Homoeopathic Formulations of Turnera aphrodisiaca

Pharmaceutical Sciences, Panjab University, Chandigarh 160 014, India

Turnera aphrodisiaca Ward (Turneraceae) has been traditionally used for the treatment of anxiety neurosis, and as an aphrodisiac.

Mother tinctures (85% ethanol extracts) of T. aphrodisiaca have also been used for the treatment of central nervous system disorders.

In the present investigation, T. aphrodisiaca mother tinctures formulated by three reputed manufacturers of homoeopathic medicines (NLK, DWSG and SBL) were evaluated for their anxiolytic activity.

Dried mother tinctures of T. aphrodisiaca were subjected to anxiolytic activity evaluation at various doses, i.e. 50, 75, 100, 125 or 150 mg/kg p.o. in mice using elevated plus maze apparatus. Dried mother tinctures exhibited significant anxiolytic activity at 50 mg/kg (NLK), 75 mg/kg (DWSG) and 125 mg/kg (SBL), respectively, with reference to control as well as standard (diazepam, 2 mg/kg p.o.). Mother tinctures of T. aphrodisiaca available in the market, have significant anxiolytic activity. Amongst the three mother tinctures of T. aphrodisiaca analyzed, the dry residue of NLK possesses the highest amount of anxiolytic constituent(s). To ensure uniformity and consistency of biological effects in herbal formulations, these should be standardized on the basis of bioactive markers. The authors are actively involved in isolating the bioactive constituent(s) from T. aphrodisiaca so that the plant can be standardized on the basis of biologically active constituent(s).

 

Introduction Turnera aphrodisiaca Ward (synonym Turnera diffusa Willd., family Turneraceae) is commonly known as ‘Damiana’. The leaves of T. aphrodisiaca have been used traditionally as a stimulant, aphrodisiac, tonic, diuretic, nerve tonic, laxative, and in kidney, menstrual and pregnancy disorders (1,2). The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia (3) lists specific indications for Damiana as anxiety neurosis associated with impotency, and includes other indications such as depression, nervous dyspepsia, atonic constipation and coital inadequacy. Damiana has achieved some repute in the treatment of sexual impotence where it is used in conjunction with strychnine, phosphorus or some other stimulants in homoeopathic formulations (4). The leaf infusion of Damiana has been used as a traditional remedy in diseases related to the gastrointestinal and respiratory systems (5), reproductive organs (6), and for the treatment of gonorrhoea in Latin American societies (7). Mother tincture (85% ethanol extract) of Damiana is an important homoeopathic medicine for the treatment of sexual debility and nervous prostration (8).

 

Phytochemical reports on T. aphrodisiaca indicate that the plant contains tetraphyllin B (a cyanoglycoside) (9); gonzalitosin I (a flavonoid) (10); arbutin (a phenolic glycoside) (11); damianin (12); tricosan-2-one, hexacosanol (hydrocarbons) (13); a volatile oil containing _-pinene, _-pinene, p-cymene and 1,8-cineole (11); and _-sitosterol (a phytosterol) (10). A survey of the literature on T. aphrodisiaca revealed only three pharmacological reports on the plant. Aqueous extract of T. aphrodisiaca whole plant has been reported to exhibit significant hypoglycaemic activity in alloxan-diabetic male mice (14). Aguilara et al. (15) have reported that a decoction of T. aphrodisiaca leaves possesses significant hypoglycaemic the plant was reported to exhibit aphrodisiac activity in sexually sluggish male rats at a dose of 1 ml/kg (16). Turnera aphrodisiaca has a long tradition of use as a homoeopathic medicine in central nervous system (CNS) disorders. Moreover, mother tinctures of T. aphrodisiaca are marketed for CNS depressant effects by reputed manufacturers. Still, no systematic work has ever been carried out to evaluate CNS activities of T. aphrodisiaca mother tinctures. Thus, it was considered worthwhile to subject marketed T. aphrodisiaca mother tinctures to anti-anxiety screening studies.


anti-anxiety activity of Damiana.pdf

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