The results of neuropharmacological, microbiological and toxicological studies on the ethanol extract of the bark of Excoecaria agallocha are reported. The extract (100 and 200 mg/kg dosages) was found to produce a profound decrease in exploratory activity in a dose-dependent manner. It also showed a marked sedative effect as evidenced by a significant reduction in gross behaviour and potentiation of sodium thiopental-induced sleeping time. The totality of these effects showed that the extract possesses depressant action on the central nervous system (CNS). The extract of E. agallocha exhibited significant in vitro antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Shigella dysenteriae, Shigella sonnei and Enterococci with the zones of inhibition ranging from 11 to 15 mm. While the extract showed considerable brine shrimp toxicity (LD50 = 20 mg/mL), it displayed only low level of toxicity in mice.
Excoecaria agallocha; Euphorbiaceae; Sodium thiopental; Open field test; Hole cross test