Volatile constituents and behavioral change induced by Cymbopogon winterianus leaf essential oil in rodents
Cymbopogon winterianus Jowitt (‘Java citronella’) is an important essential oil yielding aromatic grass cultivated in India and Brazil and its volatile essential oils extracted from its leaves are used in perfumery, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and flavoring industries. However, there is no report on any psychopharmacological study of C. winterianus leaf essential oil (LEO) available to date. In this study, the pharmacological effects of the LEO were investigated in animal models and its phytochemical analyses. GC-MS analysis showed a mixture of monoterpenes, as citronellal (36.19%), geraniol (32.82%) and citronellol (11.37%). LEO exhibited an inhibitory effect on the locomotor activity of mice, an antinociceptive effect by increasing the reaction time in the writhing and capsaicin tests. All doses induced a significant increase in the sleeping time of animals not having modified however, the latency. The LEO did not alter the remaining time of the animals on the rota-rod apparatus. These results suggest a possible central effect.
Key words: Cymbopogon winterianus, essential oil, CNS, behavioral effects, analgesic.