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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 145-148

Studies on antistress activity of Curculigo Orchioides gaertn

1 Drugs Testing Laboratory Avam Anusadhan Kendra, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India
2 Institute of Pharmaceutical Research, GLA University, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Department of Balroga, Shri N P A Government Ayurved College, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India

Date of Submission01-Feb-2021
Date of Acceptance01-Mar-2021
Date of Web Publication16-Jun-2021

Correspondence Address:
Nagendra Singh Chauhan
Drugs Testing Laboratory Avam Anusadhan Kendra, 1st Floor, Government Ayurvedic Hospital Building, Government Ayurvedic College Campus, G.E. Road, Raipur - 492 010, Chhattisgarh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/bbrj.bbrj_12_21

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the antistress activity of rhizomes ethanolic extract of Curculigo orchioides Gaertn in vivo, using mice with stress-induced injury. The effect of Curculigo orchioides on motor coordination, spontaneous locomotor activity, immobility time, and analgesia was evaluated in mice using standard procedure. The ethanolic extract of Curculigo orchioides at dose levels, i.e., 100 and 200 mg/kg shows pronounced antistress activity evidenced by reduced immobility time in forced swimming and tail test. It also improved motor coordination and enhanced analgesic effect compared to standard diazepam. The Curculigo orchioides was found to be a antistress activity.

Keywords: Adaptogen, antistress activity, Curculigo orchioides, diazepam, tail suspension test

How to cite this article:
Chauhan NS, Shah K, Gupta PK. Studies on antistress activity of Curculigo Orchioides gaertn. Biomed Biotechnol Res J 2021;5:145-8

How to cite this URL:
Chauhan NS, Shah K, Gupta PK. Studies on antistress activity of Curculigo Orchioides gaertn. Biomed Biotechnol Res J [serial online] 2021 [cited 2022 Oct 7];5:145-8. Available from: https://www.bmbtrj.org/text.asp?2021/5/2/145/318421

  Introduction Top

Stress represents a reaction of the body to a stimulus that tends to alter its normal physiological equilibrium or homeostasis and has been defined as a nonspecific response of the body to any demand imposed on it.[1] Herbal drugs have been used to overcome the stress by enhancing the nonspecific resistance of organisms against a variety of stressors and constitute a special class of compound known as “Adaptogen.”[2] A plant adaptogen is defined as “Smooth pro-stressors which reduces reactivity of host defense systems and decreases damaging effects of various stressors due to increased basal level of mediators involved in the stress response.”[3]

A number of plants have been investigated and reported for their antistress activity, a few salient ones are Ocimum sanctum,[4] Withania somnifera[5] Eleuthrococcus senticosus, and Panax ginseng.[6]

Curculigo orchioides Gaertn Family Hypoxidacea (Amaryllidaceae) is well known plant in traditional Indian system of medicine Ayurveda. Found in India in the subtropical Himalayas form Kumaon eastwards and in the Western Ghats from Konkan southwards [Figure 1]. Its tuberous roots are slightly bitter and mucilaginous and considered tonic, alternative demulcent, diuretics, and restorative.[7] It is claimed to be a medical care for piles, asthma, jaundice diarrhea, colic, and gonorrhea and to be an aphrodisiac.[8] It is a constituent of “Chywanprash” an age-old Ayurvedic formulation reported in ancient texts for vigor and vitality. C. orchioides has been used in several metabolic enhancing and aphrodisiac formulation in the Indian system of medicine.[9],[10] Previous studies reported C. orchioides immunostimulant activity.,[11],[12] Antihyperglycemic,[13] Spermatogenic,[14] aphrodisiac,[15],[16],[17] and antihistaminic activities.[18] In order to validate the traditional usage of drug as adaptogen the present study was undertaken to investigate the antistress activity of the rhizomes of C. orchioides.
Figure 1: Photograph of Curculigo orchioides

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  Materials and Methods Top

Collection and extraction

Rhizomes of Curculigo orchioides Gaertn were collected in and around Sagar (India), and identified at the Department of Botany Dr H. S. Gour University, Sagar. A voucher specimen of the same has been deposited. Rhizome was dried in sunlight and coarsely powdered. Powdered drug was fed in soxhlet extractor and defatted with petroleum ether 60°C–80°C. Defatted drug was further extracted with ethanol (95%) and vacuum dried (4.08% w/w yield).


The experiments were conducted on adult Swiss mice. The animals were housed in polypropylene cage at an ambient temperature of 25°C ± 2°C with 55%–65% relative humidity and a 12 h light-dark cycle. All mice were fed with standard pellet diet and water ad libitum. Permission of institutional ethics committee was obtained for experimentation under report.

Administration of material

A suspension of ethanolic extract was prepared using 0.2% gum acacia to give 1% Suspension And 0.01% suspension with diazepam was also made with 0.2% acacia. Mice were divided in four groups of 6 mice each. Group I served as control and given vehicle only. Group II and III were administered 100 mg/Kg and 200 mg/Kg of ethanolic extract orally. Group IV was kept as standard and received diazepam 1 mg/kg i. p. suspension orally.

Tail suspension test

This test was based on the method described by Steru et al.[19] Prior to the day of testing (pre-test session), mice were suspended by their tail using 50 cm long thread for 6 min. Total duration of their immobility in test session was recorded. On the next day, in the test session mice of respective groups were administered 100 mg/Kg and 200 mg/Kg of extracts and diazepam 1 mg/kg ip 60 min prior to the test. The mouse, were then suspended by their tail and the total duration of immobility was recorded for 6 min.

Forced swimming test

This test was based on the method described by Porsolt et al.[20] In brief animals were forced to swim individually for 15 min in a glass beaker (12 cm diameter, 15 cm height) containing fresh water up to 8 cm, at a temperature of 22°C ± 1°C. Twenty four hours after this “pre test” session, the animals of respective groups were administered either a drug (test group) or vehicle (control group) and each animal was once again forced to swim in a similar environment for 6 min in “test session.” The attempts by the mice to get out of the beaker were interspersed with periods of immobility, which were significantly “behavioral despair.” The total duration of the immobility during the last 4 min of the 6 min test was recorded.

Effect on motor coordination

The effect on motor coordination was assessed using a Rotarod apparatus (Ugo basile Italy) as defined by Dunham and Miya.[21] The animals were trained to remain on the rod rotating at a speed of 25 rpm. Only those animals performing up to the mark in the required parameter were included in this test. Only those animals which could remain on the rotating rod for a period of at least 4 min were included in the test. The animals of different groups were subsequently administered plant extract, vehicle or diazepam and their performance on rotating rod was evaluated after a lapse of 60 min period after drug administration.

Photo cell activity cage method

The experimental set up involved the use of an activity cage.(UGO Basile, Italy). The different groups of mice were treated with extract, vehicle, and diazepam. After an hour of the treatment, each of the treated and control group animals was placed in an activity cage. The digital counts denoting the movements of the animals of the different groups were recorded.

Autoanalgesia method

After the treatment, the rats were placed in the planter apparatus (7370 planter test, UGO Basile, Italy) to study the analgesic activity.[22] Each of the animals were first given their respective treatments with extract, vehicle or diazepam. After the acclimation period of 20 min. for each animal inside the test apparatus, the infrared (IR) source placed under the glass floor was positioned directly beneath the hind paw of the animal under test. A trial was commenced by turning on the IR source, a digital solid-state timer was also turned on. When the rat felt pain and withdrew its paw, there was a sudden drop of reflection and the IR source was subsequently turned off which stopping the reaction time counter. The withdrawal latency to the nearest 0.1 s was determined and the time period was noted [Table 1].
Table 1: Antistress activity of Curculigo orchioides by plantar test apparatus

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Statistical analysis

The result is given as mean ± standard error of the mean the significant difference of the data was evaluated using Student's t-test.

  Results Top

Effect on photocell activity

Alcoholic extract treated mice showed significant increase (P <.001) in number of movement with time as compared to control and standard group. The diazepam treated group show significantly, decreases in movement as compared to control. The results are reported in [Table 2].
Table 2: Antistress activity of Curculigo orchioides photocell activity cage test

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Effect on duration of immobility in forced swimming test and tail suspension test

The alcoholic extract at both dose levels, i.e., 100 and 200 mg/kg bodyweight administered orally produced significant (P < 0.001) decrease in duration of immobility as compared to control group the results obtained are comparable to the treatment with standard drug Diazepam (1 mg/kg i. p.). The results are given in [Table 3].
Table 3: Effect of various treatments on duration of immobility in albino mice

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Effect on motor incoordination

Mice treated with 100 and 200 mg/kg p. o. of the alcoholic extract and diazepam was able to maintain their posture on the rotating rod for the complete observation period of 4 min. The animal did not show any significant motor incoordination.

Analgesic activity

The ethanolic extract (200 mg/kg b. w) and diazepam-treated groups showed significant (P < 0.001) analgesic activity at both lower (50IR) and higher (70 IR) intensity. However, 100 mg/kg b. w. treated groups showed significant analgesic activity at 50 IR (P < 0.001) but a slightly lesser analgesia at 70 IR intensity (P < 0.01). Indicating toward a dose-dependent effect on analgesia [Table 1].

  Discussion Top

Stress is a multiplexed situation with a facet of factors juxtaposed together resulting in fatigue and lethargy. The major causes of stress may be disturbances in neuro-endocrine-immune system.[23]

Forced swimming and tail suspension test are based on behavioral despair and assessment. Animals are put in an aversive situation with no possibility of escape; finally, they succumb to the situation and become immobile. Immobility is an indication of depressed mood and despair, any drug or extract that relieved this condition and reduces the immobility time is hypothesized to have antistress effect.[23] C. orichoides administered at a dose of 200 mg/Kg was most effective in reducing the immobility time during observation period (P < 0.001) followed by 100 mg/Kg treated group (P < 0.01). Diazepam treatment further increased the immobility time compared to control. This reduction in immobility may have psychosomatic apprehensions or may be just because of physical rejuvenation resulting in an improved performance by the treated groups.

Photoactometer-based method is an approach for measuring the voluntary activity of animals, whereby depression or excitation elicited in animals by the administration of various drugs is recorded digitally. It was observed that the treatment with ethanolic extract of C. orichioides resulted in an increase of mobility with higher dose (200 mg/Kg) of ethanolic extract. Results therefore prove the stimulating and rejuvenating nature of the extract on central nervous system. Whereas, diazepam treated and control group animals had a decrease in movement count indicating their depressive effect.

Rotarod test is used to evaluate muscles relaxant activity of any drug. Mice treated with alcoholic extract and diazepam did not show any signs of motor in coordination. This results show that ethanolic extract of the herb is free of muscles relaxant activity.

Stress is mediated by the autonomic nervous system and occurs both prior to and during exposure to anxiogenic or stress-inducing stimuli, such as noise, heat, handling, novelty, or pain.[24] Stress is also induced due to physical exhaustion an fatigue. Since “Rasayanas” in Ayurved have been attributed with excellent tonifying and rejuvenating properties and C. orichoides is also implicated as an Ayurvedic rasayana by traditional practitioners.[25],[26] The present results supports the purported rejuvenating action of the drug and justifies the role of extract in prevention of fatigue and overall enhanced stimulation of the body.

The administration of ethanolic extract was able to increase the ability to handle obnoxious stimuli like heat (50 and 70 IR units) in IR test apparatus. Therefore an overall conclusion provided by the whole experimentation is that the ethanolic extract of Curculigo orichoides Gaertn is a potent rejuvenating principle with prominent antistress activity.

The studies gives clear evidence regarding antistress effect of ethanolic extract of the rhizomes of C. orchioides and support the purported folklore claims of this drug as rejuvenator and tonic. The drug is capable of normalizing variety of stresses and suggests antistress activity by its administration. Further pharmacological to determine neuro-muscular or enzymatic apprehensions will pave way to justify the Rasayana effect of the drug.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

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Chauhan NS, Dixit VK. Spermatogenesis activity of rhizomes of Curculigo orchioides Gaertn on male rats. Int J Appl Res Nat Prod 2008;1:26-31.  Back to cited text no. 14
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Thakur M, Chauhan NS, Sharma V, Dixit VK, Bhargava S. Effect of Curculigo orchioides on hyperglycemia-induced oligospermia and sexual dysfunction in male rats. Int J Impot Res 2012;24:31-7.  Back to cited text no. 17
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  [Figure 1]

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]

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