The rhizome of Vacha (Acorus calamus) has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of various ailments, such as epilepsy, headache, eye disorders, insomnia, loss of memory, etc. Previous studies demonstrated that Vacha rhizome is having significant anticonvulsant activity against various induced seizures models in experimental animals. Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia of India has advocated Shodhana (purificatory procedures) to be done prior to its use. In the present study a comparative anticonvulsant activity of raw and Shodhita (classically processed) Vacha rhizomes were screened against Maximal Electro Shock (MES) seizure model to assess the effect of classical purificatory procedure on pharmacological action of Vacha. Phenytoin was used as standard antiepileptic drug for comparison. Pretreatment with both raw and classically processed Vacha samples exhibited significant anticonvulsant activity by decreasing the duration of tonic extensor phase. Further classically processed Vacha statistically decreased the duration of convulsion and stupor phases of MES-induced seizures. The results obtained from the present study clearly confirmed the anticonvulsant activity of raw Vacha and subjecting to classical Shodhana procedure did not alter the efficacy of Vacha rhizomes instead it enhanced the activity profile of the Vacha.
Keywords: Acorus calamus, anticonvulsant, epilepsy, phenytoin, shodhana, vacha