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Acta Physiol Lat Am. 1982;32(4):277-85.

Antistress and antifatigue properties of Panax ginseng: comparison with piracetam.


The antistress and antifatigue properties of a Chinese ginseng preparation were tested on Swiss albino mice, exposed to various experimental models of stress, and were compared with those of piracetam. Both ginseng and piracetam were administered chronically in drinking water for 16-18 days as well as acutely, by injection, 30-60 min prior to the experiments. Reactivity of the mice, loss in body weight, amount of faeces, length of endurance and incidence of mortality were graded and measured. Both piracetam and ginseng treatment provided good protection against electroshock stress when compared to the untreated mice; fighting scores, incidence of tonic convulsion and mortality were significantly less in the treated groups. In the heat stress experiments, both piracetam and ginseng provided significant protection to the treated mice against exposure to heat. In the fatigue stress of forced swim test, ginseng treatment provided effective adaptation to fatigue and increased endurance in both male and female mice; piracetam showed some antifatigue effects on the male mice only. In the locomotor activity tests, ginseng did not depress motility, while piracetam did so in the later part of the tests. These results are discussed in the light of the antistress properties of the drugs as reported in the literature.

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