Short Communication: Chemical composition and preliminary psychostimulant activity of essential oil of Rosmarinus officinalis L.
The essential oil of Rosmarinus officinalis L. (family Lamiaceae) is known to produce pharmacological effects on animal behavior similar to the effects of CNS acting drugs. The objective of this study was to evaluate the chemical composition and psychostimulant properties of the oil extracted from the leaves of locally grown plants. The oil was extracted by hydrodistillation (0.82% v/w) and analyzed by gas chromatography (GC-FID) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The psychostimulant activity of the oil was evaluated in mice using sleeping time, open field test and tail suspension test models. Thirty-one compounds that accounted for 99.67% of the total oil were identified, 1,8 cineole (43.3%), α-pinene (19.34%) and camphor (8.89%) figuring as major compounds. The oil showed psychostimulant activity as indicated by a significant (p < 0.001) delay in the onset and duration of sleep and enhancement in mobility of mice. Furthermore, the tail suspension test supported the above results. The psychostimulant properties of the oil indicate its potential for the management of conditions requiring stimulants.
Keywords: Rosmarinus officinalis, essential oil, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry 1,8 cineole, psychostimulant activity