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Anticonvulsant, Labiatae, Maximal electroshock, Origanum majorana, Pentylenetetrazole, Sedative, Sodium pentobarbitone


Origanum majorana Linn. (Family- Labiatae) is a herb, commonly grows in Mediterranean regions. The plant has been used in the treatment of diseases related to the nervous system as an antiepileptic and sedative drug in traditional medicines. In this study, anticonvulsant and sedative activities for different extracts of aerial parts (leaves and stems) of O. majorana are evaluated. An anticonvulsant effect of O. majorana was investigated using the Pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) and maximal electroshock (MES) test The pet ether, chloroform, acetone, methanol and aqueous extracts (PEOM, CEOM, ACEOM, MEOM, and AQEOM respectively) of O. majorana exhibited anticonvulsant effect in both the PTZ and MES induced seizure models at the doses of 250 and 500 mg/kg, i.p. The extracts of O. majorana delayed the onset of seizures and reduced the duration of seizures in PTZ test and decreased the duration of seizures in MES test compared to the control group. The CEOM exhibited maximum reduction (58.47 and 44.83% in PTZ and MES test respectively) in the duration of seizures, hence it was processed to isolate triterpenoic acid fraction (TAF) which contained substantial amount of ursolic acid. The TAF exhibited maximum reduction (64.54 and 59.31% in PTZ and MES test respectively) in the duration of seizures compared to the other extracts of O. majorana. Also, the test extracts decreased the latency and increased the duration of total sleeping time significantly. The antagonism of chemically and electrically induced seizures that O. majorana extracts possess anticonvulsant activity. Presence of flavonoids, steroids, triterpenoids and essential oil may be responsible for the anticonvulsant activity of this plant.

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Pharmacologyonline, 2007, v. 1, p. 64-78

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