Studies on the Effects of the Stem Bark Extract of Ficus thonningi on the Nervous System

P A Onyeyili, U K Sandabe, G A chibuzo, A Balewa


Ficus thonningi  stem bark used by traditionalists for the treatment of mental illness was extracted with 70% ethanol and concentrated to dryness using vacuum evaporator.  Rats were used to test the acute toxicity of the extract, effect of the extract on the thiopental sodium on sleep, muscle relaxation and the effect of the extract on convulsions induced by pentylenetetrazole and strychnine, while the local anaesthetic effect of the extract was tested in rabbits.  The extract induced sleep in rats treated with high doses intraperitoneally.  The LD50 of the extract was calculated to be 1440 mg/kg.  Its effect on thiopental-induced sleeping time in rats was additive.  It produced 80% protection in rats treated with convulsant dose of pentylenetetrazole (100 mg/kg s.c) and 20% protection in those treated with strychnine (2 mg/kg i.p.).  It also induced significant muscle relaxant effects in rats and produced local anaesthetic effects in rabbits injected intradermally.

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