Metabolic Brain Disease

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 743–749 | Cite as

Phytochemical screening, acute toxicity, anxiolytic and antidepressant activities of the Nelumbo nucifera fruit

  • Muhammad Ali Rajput
  • Rafeeq Alam KhanEmail author
Original Article


Recently use of herbal therapies and diet rich in flavonoids and vitamin C have increased significantly to treat minor to modest anxiety disorders and various forms of depression. But further research and studies are necessary to evaluate the pharmacological & toxicological effects of plants. Hence present study was designed to conduct phytochemical screening, acute toxicity study, anxiolytic and antidepressant activities of the ethanol extract of Nelumbo nucifera fruit in order to ascertain its therapeutic potential. The qualitative phytochemical screening of the seed pods of the N. nucifera fruit extract exposed the existence of flavonoids, saponins, alkaloids, tannins and terpenoids in it. The acute toxicity of the N. nucifera fruit extract in mice revealed its LD50 value to be greater than 5000 mg/kg. Antianxiety activity was determined by elevated plus maze and light and dark test using 35 male Wister rats weighing 200–220 g which were equally divided in to 5 groups. The animals used in EPM underwent testing in light and dark box just 30 min after EPM. The antidepressant effect was assessed by forced swimming test using 35 male albino mice weighing 20–25 g equally divided in to 5 groups. In elevated plus maze, N. nucifera fruit extract exhibited substantial rise in number of open arm entries and time spent in open arms at dose 50 mg/kg while highly noteworthy increase in both parameters were observed at extract doses 100 and 200 mg/kg as compared to control. In light dark test highly significant increase in the percentage of time spent in light compartment was observed as compared to control. In forced swimming test highly noteworthy decline in duration of immobility was recorded at doses 100 and 200 mg/kg on 15th day i-e after administration of 14 doses, as compared to control; whereas same doses demonstrated significant decrease as compared to control in duration of immobility after single dose administration i-e on 2nd day of experiment. Thus N. nucifera fruit have exhibited strong anxiolytic and antidepressant effects and proved to have a great potential for therapeutic applications such as anxiety and depression and thus encourage more preclinical and clinical trials in this field.


Nelumbo nucifera Anxiolytic Elevated plus maze Light and dark test 



The authors are thankful to Dr. Mohtesheem, Associate Professor and Chairman Department of Pharmacognosy for identification and authentication of N. nucifera fruits. The authors are also thankful to Prof. Dr. Iqbal Chaudary, Director, HEJ, Research Institute of Chemistry for granting permission to use Institute laboratory and workshop facilities.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of KarachiKarachiPakistan

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