Anxiety is a cardinal symptom of many psychiatric disorders and an almost inevitable component of many medical and surgical conditions. Indeed it is a universal human emotion, closely allied with appropriate fear presumably serving pyschobiologically adaptive purposes. Anxiety is a normal emotional behaviour. When it is severe and/or chronic, however, it becomes pathological and can precipitate or aggravate cardiovascular and psychiatric disorders. Although many drugs are available in allopathic medicine to treat anxiety disorders, they produce various systemic side effects. Ursolic acid has been identified as the active principle of Ocimum sanctum. From our laboratory we have established the antianxiety, anticateleptic and antidepressant activity of ethanolic extract of leaves of Ocimum sanctum. In the present study, we have attempted to evaluate the anxiolytic- activity of ursolic acid in rats by employing, elevated plus maze and bright and dark arena. The rats were divided into five groups, each group containing six animals. The effects of the test drug ursolic acid (at 0.05, 0.1 and 0.2 mg/kg doses),the standard anxiolytic, diazepam (1.0 mg/kg) and control group 14% dimethyl sulfoxide (10ml/kg) were assessed after repeated doses administration for ten days. The results suggest that,ursolic acid exhibited anxiolytic like activity comparable to diazepam.
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