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Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia

Print version ISSN 0102-695XOn-line version ISSN 1981-528X


PERAZZO, Fabio F. et al. Effect of Artemisia annua L. leaves essential oil and ethanol extract on behavioral assays. Rev. bras. farmacogn. [online]. 2008, vol.18, suppl., pp.686-689. ISSN 0102-695X.

Artemisia annua has been used as a traditional plant for the treatment of malaria and fever in China because of the presence of its active compound, artemisinin. The present study evaluated the central activity of the essential oil and the crude ethanol extract of A. annua L. in animals as a part of a psychopharmacological screening of this plant. The extract was prepared in ethanol (AEE) and the essential oil (AEO) obtained by hydrodistillation, both with fresh leaves. Induced immobility, the forced swimming test (FST) and the open-field test (OFT) are well-known animal models to study drug-induced depression. The administration of A. annua essential oil or crude ethanol extract increased the immobility time in the FST and decreased other activities (ambulation, exploration, rearing and grooming) in the OFT in animals. Both AEO and AEE prolonged pentobarbital-induced sleep as well, but the essential oil had a marked effect. Observing these results, it is possible to suggest that A. annua crude ethanol extract and essential oil could act as depressors on the Central Nervous System (CNS).

Keywords : Artemisia annua; Asteraceae; CNS; in vivo.

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