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J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Nov 12;126(2):280-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2009.08.026. Epub 2009 Aug 22.

Towards a better understanding of the psychopharmacology of nutmeg: Activities in the mouse tetrad assay.

Author information

  • 1Pharmacology Department, School of Pharmacy, The University of Mississippi, MS 38677, United States. aalfy2001@olemiss.edu

Abstract

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE:

Nutmeg, the seeds of Myritica fragrans (family Myristicaceae), is a well known kitchen spice with a long-standing reputation as a psychoactive herb. Nutmeg at high doses is considered a cheap substitute to several drugs of abuse. Earlier reports have attributed amphetamine-like activities to nutmeg.

AIM OF THE STUDY:

To characterize the neuropharmacological effects of different nutmeg extracts, administered orally and intraperitoneally, in comparison to Delta(9)-terahydrocannabinol, amphetamine, and morphine.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Methanolic (ME), dichloromethane (DE), and hexane (HE) extracts were obtained from a chromatographically fingerprinted batch of nutmeg. Biological evaluation was conducted in sets of 6-8 mice in the tetrad assay at doses ranging from 100 to 500 and 500 to 1000 mg/kg for i.p. and oral administration, respectively.

RESULTS:

While oral administration of all the nutmeg extracts at 500 mg/kg caused a significant increase in locomotor activity, the i.p. administration of DE showed significant reduction in rectal temperature along with a significant increase in tail flick latency at 300 mg/kg. A significant decrease in core body temperature was observed with HE at 100 mg/kg, while higher doses caused significant increases in hot plate latency.

CONCLUSION:

Different behavioral effects were observed that varied by the type of extract as well as by the route of administration.

PMID:
19703539
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2783227
Free PMC Article

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