Nigella sativa (black seed) extract improves spatial learning abilityin albino mice
This study was carried out to assess the memory enhancing effect of Nigella sativa Extract on mice using Morris Water Maze. The study was conducted on 30 Albino mice of both sexes randomly divided into 5 groups with 6 animals each. Group 1 served as control and was treated with oral distilled water, Groups 2, 3 and 4 were treated orally with 1ml/kg, 2ml/kg and 4ml/kg body weight of the Nigella sativa Extract (NSE) respectively for 3 days, and Group 5 was treated with 100mg/kg body weight memory enhancing drug-Piracetam. Latency to locate the platform and the frequency of crossing the platform was measured. The result showed a decrease though not significant in latency to locate platform between training days 1 and 2 in 2ml& 4ml Nigella sativa groups (49.92±10.75 NSE 1 ml/kg; 29.63±7.12 NSE 2ml/kg; and 34.04±6.51 NSE 4ml/kg), also when compared to control and Piracetam groups, with the Piracitam group having a similar latency to control. The increase in there frequencies of platform crossing compared to control was significant at p=0.045 and was dose dependent (1.67±0.72 1ml/kg NSE; 1.83±1.60 2ml/kg NSE; 3.50±0.76 4ml/kg NSE; and 4.17±0.87 100 mg/kg Piracetam). These findings conclude that acute administration of Nigella sativa has a beneficial effect on learning and memory and has a better effect on learning but not memory than piracetam.
Keywords: Nigella sativa, learning, memory, Morris water maze