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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2004 Sep;79(1):11-6.

Effect of leaves of Butea frondosa on stress, anxiety, and cognition in rats.

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  • 1C.U. Shah College of Pharmacy, SNDT University Santacruz (W), Mumbai 400 049, Maharashtra, India.


The plant Butea frondosa has been indicated in the Indian system of medicine as a plant augmenting memory and as a rejuvenator. The effect of oral administration of the aqueous and alcoholic extracts of the leaves was assessed on stress, cognitive function, and anxiety in albino rats. The antistress activity was evaluated using cold restraint induced ulcers and leukocyte count after subcutaneous injection of milk. The aqueous extract provides protection against stress-induced gastric lesions while both the alcoholic as well as the aqueous extract normalizes the white blood cell count. Effect on cognitive function was evaluated using Cook and Weidley's pole apparatus. The results indicate that the aqueous extract and the alcoholic extract when administered at a dose of 300 mg/kg for a period of 7 days augment both the acquisition as well as the retention of memory of learned task. The absence of an increase in the occupancy of the open arm in the elevated plus maze and in the number of head dips in the hole-board paradigms indicates that both the extracts are devoid of anxiolytic activity. Nootropic activity was compared using piracetam (100 mg/kg po) as the standard, while for anxiolytic and antistress activity, diazepam (1.0 mg/kg ip) was employed as the standard drug. It is concluded that the aqueous and alcoholic extract of B. frondosa possesses antistress and weak nootropic activity.

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