Phytochemistry Reviews

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 567–575 | Cite as

Comparative efficacy of Ocimum sanctum L. and Ocimum basilicum L. essential oils against amyloid beta (1–42)-induced anxiety and depression in laboratory rats

  • Veronica Gradinariu
  • Oana Cioanca
  • Lucian Hritcu
  • Adriana Trifan
  • Elvira Gille
  • Monica Hancianu


The present study analyzed the possible anxiolytic and antidepressant proprieties of inhaled basil essential oils extracted from Ocimum sanctum L. (Os) and Ocimum basilicum L. (Ob) in β-amyloid (1–42) rat model of Alzheimer’s disease. The anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effects of inhaled basil essential oils were studied by means of in vivo (elevated plus-maze and forced swimming tests) approaches. The β-amyloid (1–42)-treated rats exhibited the following: decrease of the exploratory activity (number of crossing), the percentage of the time spent and the number of entries in the open arm within elevated plus-maze test and increase of the swimming time and decrease of the immobility time within forced swimming test. The chemical composition varied from one sample to another. The main compounds found in both samples were linalool (31 %–Ob, 19 %–Os), camphor, β-elemene, α-bergamotene and bornyl-acetate, estragole (15.57 and 7.59 %, respectively), eugenol (2.64 and 1.39 %, respectively) and 1,8-cineole (3.29 and 3.90 %, respectively). As a result, exposure to basil essential oils significantly improved the behavior of the animals, suggesting anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effects. Our results suggest that multiple exposures to basil essential oils can be useful as a mean to counteract anxiety and depression in Alzheimer’s disease conditions.


Basil essential oil β-amyloid (1–42) peptide Anxiety Depression Alzheimer’s disease 



This work was supported by POSDRU/159/1.5/S/133377, University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Gr. T. Popa” Iasi, Romania.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Veronica Gradinariu
    • 1
  • Oana Cioanca
    • 1
  • Lucian Hritcu
    • 2
  • Adriana Trifan
    • 1
  • Elvira Gille
    • 3
  • Monica Hancianu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of PharmacyUniversity of Medicine and Pharmacy „Gr. T. Popa” IaşiIasiRomania
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Faculty of BiologyAlexandru Ioan Cuza University of IasiIasiRomania
  3. 3.“Stejarul” Biological Research CentreNational Institute of R&D for Biological SciencesPiatra NeamtRomania

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