The percentage yields (w/v) of NLK, DWSG and SBL dry residues were 0.54, 2.27 and 2.03. All the three dried mother tinctures of T. aphrodisiaca tested positive for the presence of flavonoids, alkaloids, steroids, cyanogenic glycosides, carbohydrates, proteins and tannins.
The mean number of entries and time spent by the mice in open arms after oral administration of various doses of the mother tinctures of T. aphrodisiaca are shown in .
Anti-anxiety activity of various dried mother tinctures of Turnera aphrodisiaca using elevated plus-maze apparatus
Anti-anxiety activity of the mother tinctures of T. aphrodisiaca
, marketed by reputed manufacturers of homoeopathic medicines, was evaluated employing a widely used model, i.e. elevated plus-maze. A mother tincture is essentially an alcoholic extract prepared according to the procedure described in Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia (21
). Despite being a homoeopathic formulation, a mother tincture is as good as an alcoholic extract commonly employed by researchers during phytochemical or biological studies. The elevated plus-maze model was chosen since it is effective, cheap, simple, less time-consuming, requires no preliminary training for the mice, and does not cause much discomfort to them while handling. The model is principally based on the observations that exposure of mice to an elevated and open maze results in approach– avoidance conflict, which is manifested as an exploratory-cum-fear drive. The fear due to height (acrophobia) induces anxiety in mice when placed on the elevated plus-maze. The ultimate manifestation of anxiety and fear then is exhibited by decrease in motor activity, which is measured by the time spent by mice in the open arms.
Dried T. aphrodisiaca mother tinctures of NLK, DWSG and SBL, separately suspended in a suitable vehicle, were administered orally to mice. The activity was compared with that observed in the control group as well as with the group treated with the standard anxiolytic drug diazepam. Complete manifestation of anxiety in mice of the control group is evident from the minimum mean time spent in the open arms of elevated plus-maze (). Significant anxiolytic activity was observed in NLK (50 mg/kg), DWSG (75 mg/kg) and SBL (125 mg/kg,) respectively, which was on a par with that of diazepam as is evident from statistical equivalence between the results of these doses and these manifested by diazepam (). However, the activity decreased at higher doses, probably due to a sedative effect.
From the above findings, clearly that all three mother tinctures of T. aphrodisiaca have significant anxiolytic activity. Dried NLK mother tincture exhibited significant anxiolytic activity at 50 mg/kg followed by DWSG (75 mg/kg) and SBL (125 mg/kg). DWSG and SBL mother tinctures yielded similar percentages (about 2%) of dry residue while NLK mother tincture yielded one-quarter of them. Despite this one-quarter yield, NLK exhibited significant activity at a lower dose in comparison to DWSG and SBL. This could possibly be due to: (i) addition of anxiolytic compound(s) as no effective official control is applicable to these OTC products, or (ii) qualitative and/or quantitative variability in the chemical constituents of T. aphrodisiaca depending on the collection sites, season, processing, storage conditions, etc. Phytochemical screening showed that all the mother tinctures have similar classes of phytoconstituents. Flavonoids, alkaloids or steroids might be responsible for the anxiolytic activity of T. aphrodisiaca.
Bearing in mind the variations in biological effects of homoeopathic formulations of the three reputed manufacturers, the authors opine that these formulations should be standardized on the basis of bioactive markers. The authors are currently involved in bioactivity-directed isolation of anxiolytic constituent(s) from T. aphrodisiaca so that its formulations can be standardized on the basis of biologically active constituent(s).