Evaluation of anticonvulsant activity of methanol leaf extract of Hymenocardia acida, Tul (Euphorbiaceae) in laboratory animals
Hymenocardia acida is a plant used in African folkloric medicine in the treatment of headache, rheumatic pain, sickle cell crisis, malaria, epilepsy and cancer. This study was aimed at investigating the anticonvulsant potential of the methanol leaf extract of H. acida (MLEHA) in chicks and mice. Preliminary phytochemical screening and acute toxicity studies of the MLEHA were conducted using standard methods. Anticonvulsant studies were conducted on the extract using maximal electroshock test (MEST) in chicks and pentylene tetrazole induced-seizures (PTZ) in mice. The phytochemical screening revealed the presence of terpenoids, tannins, saponins, alkaloids, anthraquinones, carbohydrates, cardiac glycosides and flavonoids. In addition, the oral median lethal dose (LD50) of the extract in mice was found to be greater than 5000 mg/kg. The extract at doses of 150, 300 and 600 mg/kg did not exhibit significant effect on the mean recovery time in MEST as none of the chicks was protected. However, the extract at the dose of 150 mg/kg produced a significant (p<0.05) increase in mean onset of seizures induced by PTZ, and dose independently protected the mice. In conclusion, the results of the study suggest that the methanol leaf extract of H. acida contains bioactive compounds that possess anticonvulsant activity, thus, providing scientific rationale for the plant’s ethno-medicinal use in the management of epilepsy.
Keywords: Anticonvulsant, Epilepsy, Hymenocardia acida, Pentylene tetrazole