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Studies on the Anxiolytic Activity of Eurycoma longifolia Jack Roots in Mice

Eurycoma longifolia Jack, from the Simaroubaceae family and identified locally as 'Tongkat Ali', is found in primary and secondary, evergreen and mixed deciduous forests in Burma, Indochina, Thailand, Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo and the Philippines. It is popularly sought after as a singly or an essential component for the treatment of fevers, aches, sexual insufficiency and also as health supplements, but has not been indicated strongly for any specific illness. However, traditional medicinal users usually take a decoction of the roots in water as a health tonic and antistress remedy.

As such, the antistress effect of E. longifolia Jack may account for its observed efficacy in stress-related disorders like ulcer. Other documentated medicinal uses of this plant are based on its antimalarial and cytotoxic activities, and these may have been attributed to various quassinoids, squalene derivatives, biphenyl­-neolignans, tirucallane-type triterpenes, canthine-6-one and β-carboline alkaloids. Hence, in this paper, we in­vestigated the antianxiety effect of various fractions of E. longifolia Jack using the open-field, elevated plus-maze and antifighting tests.

Inbred adult albino mice (35-40 g) were used as ex­perimental subjects. They were housed individually in a standard wire-mesh cage in an animal house under conditions of controlled temperature of 26 ± 2 °C and a relative humidity of around 70±5%, with commercial diet and water ad libitum.