Skip to main content

Comparative Effects of Orange Blossom, Violet, and Marjoram Extracts and Lorazepam on Sleep Deprivation-Induced Anxiety in Mice

Sleep deprivation leads to various disorders, and abnormal anxiety is one of the most important among those. Although hypnotics, such as lorazepam, are effective in this regard, the respective agents have numerous side effects. Nutritional treatments (such medicinal herbs) are sometimes better than chemical medicine and can be recommended for this purpose. In our study, we compared the effects of ethanolic extracts of three medicinal herbs (orange blossom, violet, and marjoram) and lorazepam on the level of anxiety related to sleep deprivation in mice. Fifty male mice were assigned to five groups, the control (C), lorazepam (L), orange blossom (OB), violet (V), and marjoram (M). Animals in each group were treated orally with these herbal extracts, Lorazepam, or water for 10 days. The sleep deprivation protocol was then performed for all groups using a water column set with platforms. Twenty-four hours after the start of the sleep deprivation protocol, the effects of the above agents on the anxiety level were compared using the elevated plus maze, light/dark box, and marble burying tests. In addition, the effects of these agents on the plasma cortisol level were analyzed. It was found that extracts of orange blossom and marjoram were more effective than the violet extract and lorazepam solution in reducing anxiety caused by sleep deprivation. Among the herbal extracts, the orange blossom extract was the most effective in this regard.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. 1.

    C. Drake, G. Richardson, T. Roehrs, et al., “Vulnerability stress-related sleep disturbance and hyperarousal,” Sleep, 27, No. 2, 285–291 (2004).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    L. S. Talbot, E. L. McGlinchey, K. A. Kaplan, et al., “Sleep deprivation in adolescents and adults: changes in affect,” Emotion, 10, No. 6, 831–841 (2010).

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    C. Vollert, M. Zaggar, I. Hovatta, et al., “Exercise prevents sleep deprivation-associated anxiety-like behavior in rats: Potential role if oxidative stress mechanisms,” Behav. Brain Res., 224, No. 2, 233–240 (2011).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    J. Cohen-Mansfield and N. Billing, “Agitated behaviors in the elderly, I. A. conceptual review,” J. Am. Geriatr. Soc., 34, No. 10, 711–721 (1986).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    M. L. Leo and A. F. Pamplona, “Elevated plus maze test to assess anxiety-like behavior in the mouse,” Bio-protocol, 4, No. 16, e1211 (2014). doi:

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    N. Solanki, F. Atrooz, S. Asghar, and S. Salim, “Tempol protects sleep-deprivation induced behavioral deficits in aggressive male Long-Evans rats,” Neurosci. Lett., 612, 245–250 (2016).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    A. de Moraes Pultrini, L. A. Galindo, and M. Costa, “Effects of the essential oil from Citrus aurantium L. in experimental anxiety models in mice,” Life Sci., 78, No. 15, 1720–1725 (2006).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    H. Woelk and S. Schläfke, “A multi-center, double-blind, randomised study of the Lavender oil preparation Silexan in comparison to lorazepam for generalized anxiety disorder,” Phytomedicine, 17, No. 2. 94–99 (2010).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    A. Rezaie, G. Mousavi, M. Nazeri, et al., “Comparative study of sedative, pre-anesthetic and anti-anxiety effect of Origanum majorana extract with diazepam on rats,” Res. J. Biol. Sci., 6, No. 11, 611–614 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    E. C. Pereira, D. L. Lucetti, J. M. Barbosa-Filho, et al., “Coumarin effects on amino acid levels in mice prefrontal cortex and hippocampus,” Neurosci. Lett., 454, No. 2, 139–142 (2009).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    M. Mahmoodi, A. Zohoor, and M. Asadi. “Anticonvulsant effect of sour orange flowers extract in experimental pentylenetetrazol-induced seizures in rat,” Arch. Iran. Med., 6, No. 3, 212–213 (2003).

    Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    T. Mombeini, S. Mazloumi, and J. Shams, “Pharmacological effects of Origanum vulgare L. in the elevated plus-maze and open field tests in the rats,” J. Bas. Clin. Pathophysiol., 3, No. 2, 29–36 (2015).

    Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Z. Feyzabadi, F. Jafari, S. H. Kamali, et al., “Efficacy of Viola odorata L. in treatment of chronic insomnia,” Iran Red Crescent Med. J., 16, No. 12, e17511 (2014).

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to T. Hajjar.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Hajjar, T., Arhami, M. & Vaezi Kakhki, M.R. Comparative Effects of Orange Blossom, Violet, and Marjoram Extracts and Lorazepam on Sleep Deprivation-Induced Anxiety in Mice. Neurophysiology 51, 29–34 (2019).

Download citation


  • mice
  • anxiety
  • extracts
  • orange blossom
  • marjoram
  • violet
  • lorazepam
  • behavioral tests