Linn. (Umbelliferae, C. sativum
) is cultivated throughout the world for its use as spice and as a folk medicine. This study deals with the anti-stress and anti-amnestic properties of C. sativum
extract in rats.
Urinary levels of vanillylmandelic acid (VMA) and ascorbic acid were used to evaluate antistress activity in rats, while conditioned avoidance response test in normal and scopolamine-induced amnesic rats was used to evaluate anti-amnesic effects. C. sativum
extract was also evaluated for its antioxidant activities by inhibition of lipid peroxidation in brain and liver homogenates of the rats.
Daily administration of C. sativum
extract (100, 200 and 300 mg/kg body weight) 1 h prior to induction of stress significantly decreased the stress-induced urinary levels of VMA from 382.79 ± 10.70 to 350.66 ± 15.15, 291.21 ± 16.53 and 248.86 ± 13.56 μg/kg/24 h and increased the ascorbic acid excretion levels from 66.73 ± 9.25 to 69.99 ± 7.37, 105.28 ± 13.74 and 135.32 ± 12.54 μg/kg/24 h at 100, 200 and 300 mg/kg, respectively, in a dose-dependent fashion without affecting the normal levels in control groups. The amnesic deficits (acquisition, retention and recovery) induced by scopolamine (1mg/kg, i.p.) in rats was reversed by C. sativum
dose dependently. The extract also inhibited lipid peroxidation in both rat liver and brain to a greater extent than the standard antioxidant, ascorbic acid.
Conclusion: C. sativum
may be useful remedy in the management of stress and stress related disorders on account of its multiple actions such as anti-stress, anti-amnestic and antioxidant effects.