Behavioral Effects of Extracts and Compounds Isolated from Erythrina Velutina (Mulungu) in Rats

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In many countries and also Brazil, the extracts or infusions of fresh plants are used to treat common infections or diseases, mainly in the countryside and among the indigenous people. The popular knowledge of the medicinal plants contributes a lot to the benefit of the human health, and directly could help for new discoveries of medicines. The antinociceptive effect is an important target for new active compounds to be searched, in part due to the increase in human life expectation, on the other hand for new cheaper compounds to the low income population, and finally, with new properties or less side effects. In the current work, extracts obtained from Erythrina velutina seeds, commonly used against snake bites, were tested for the capacity to neutralize the nociceptive effects induced by the hot plate test and anxiety behavior with combination of the open field and the elevated plus maze. Tested animals (rats) with different extracts of seed demonstrated analgesic effect with the animal on hot plate. The animals also increased wandering in the open field and even the numbers of entries and the time spent in the open arms of the elevated plus maze. That demonstrated that lesser anxiety levels allow longer and more frequent exploration periods of the open arms, suggesting that Erythrina velutina has strong anxiolytic properties compared to the control anxiolytic diazepam, it could serve as a new approach for the treatment anxiety.
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