Anticonvulsant activity of methanol stem bark extract of Boswellia dalzielii Hutch. (Burseraceae) in mice and chicks

Abdullahi B Nazifi, Nuhu M Danjuma, Temidayo O Olurishe, Jamilu Ya’u


Background: Boswellia dalzielii is a widely used medicinal plant in African traditional medicine. The efficacy of its stem bark extract in management of convulsions is well acclaimed among communities of Northern Nigeria.

Objective: To evaluate the anticonvulsant potentials of methanol stem bark extract of Boswellia dalzielii in mice and chicks.

Methodology: Phytochemical screening, elemental analysis and acute toxicity studies was carried out. The extract was evaluated for anticonvulsant activity against electrically-induced seizures in chicks and against pentylenetetrazole, strychnine, picrotoxin and 4-aminopyridine-induced seizures in mice at doses of 20, 40 and 80 mg/kg.

Results: The intraperitoneal LD50 was estimated to be 280 and 570 mg/kg in mice and chicks respectively. The extract at 20 mg/kg provided 40% protection and significantly (p<0.05) increased the mean onset of seizure in MEST. A dose-dependent and significant (p<0.05) increase in the mean onsets of pentylenetetrazole and strychnine-induced seizures were produced by the extract at 80 mg/kg. Similarly, a dose-dependent and significant increase (p<0.05 and p<0.01) in latency to picrotoxin-induced convulsions was observed at 40 and 80 mg/kg respectively.

Conclusion: These findings suggests the methanol stem bark extract of Boswellia dalzielii possesses anticonvulsant activities and thus supports the ethnomedical rationale for its use against convulsions.

Keywords: Anticonvulsant, Boswellia dalzielii, Epilepsy, Pentylenetetrazole, Picrotoxin


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