is used traditionally as sedative in children and in mental illnesses. In this study, the behavioral effects of methanolic root bark extract of S. virosa
were investigated in mice. The results revealed that the extract significantly (P<0.05) and dose-dependently reduced the onset and prolonged the duration of sleep. The extract significantly (P<0.05) decreased exploratory activity and reduced the rate of apomorphine-induced stereotyped climbing at the doses tested (6.25-25mg/kg). It also produced a significant and dose-dependent motor coordination deficit in mice at the doses tested (P<0.01). The intraperitoneal median lethal dose in mice was 774.6mg/kg while the preliminary phytochemical screening revealed the presence of alkaloids, tannins, saponins and flavonoids. These results suggest that methanolic root bark extract of S. virosa
contains biologically active principles that are sedative in nature and lend pharmacological credence to the ethnomedical use of the plant.