Original Study

| Published: August 18, 2021

A Study on the Effects of Some Medicinal Plants, Specifically Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), on Activity, Autonomic Reactivity, Escape/Avoidance Learning and Response Rate in Albino Rats

Mridula Singh

Department of Psychology, Maharaja’s College, University of Mysore, Mysuru, India Google Scholar More about the auther


DOI: 10.25215/0903.080


The present study investigated the effects of long term administration of crude powder and liquid tonic forms of ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) on behaviour in albino rats.  The behavioural measures included general motor activity (measured in Revolving Wheel Apparatus), autonomic reactivity (measured in Open Field Test Apparatus), response latency (measured in Two-way Shuttle Box) and response rate (measured in Skinner Box).  A 3g/kg treatment of the crude powder of ashwagandha through food did not show any significant effect on any of the behavioural measures.  Similar results were obtained for 2ml/kg treatment of the tonic.   Another experiment was conducted to compare the effects of ashwagandha, mandukaparni (Centella asiatica), jyotishmati (Celastrus paniculatus), vacha (Acorus calamus) and shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis).  Jyotishmati treated subjects had lower general activity scores as compared to other groups.  Autonomic reactivity did not differ among the various drug treated groups. Lower response latency in jyotishmati treated group indicated faster learning than in other groups.  Jyotishmati and vacha treatment also resulted in better response strength as compared to the other treatments.   It is concluded that the crude forms of plant medicines often used by people may not be much effective in most cases.

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ISSN 2348-5396

ISSN 2349-3429


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Published in   Volume 09, Issue 3, July- September, 2021