Human beings are constantly exposed to both emotional and physical stress throughout life and as a way of providing relief for such individuals, this study considered an alternative method of stress management with phytomedicine, hence, we investigated the effects of the ethanol extract of Curcuma longa
rhizome in experimentally stressed male rats. Stress was induced in the animals by immobilization for six hours in a cylindrical tube with wires at both ends for cross ventilation. The extract was administered orally (p.o) and its effects on spontaneous motor activity (total locomotion, rearing and grooming frequencies) were observed in the open- field test. Putative anxiolytic properties of Curcuma longa
were studied in the elevated plus-maze (EPM) and the hole board tests. The results revealed that in the open-field test, 100 and 150mg/kg doses of the extract significantly (p<0.05) increased the total locomotion and the grooming frequencies. In the EPM test, the 150mg/kg dose of the extract caused a significant increase in the number of open arm entries and the time spent in the open arm .These results suggest that the ethanol extract of Curcuma longa
may possess some compounds with potential anxiolytic properties which need to be investigated further.