Antidepressant activity of ethanol leaf extract of Zea mays

Jude E Okokon, Anwangabasi E Udoh, Jackson Obot, Louis U Amazu


Background Zea mays L. (Poacae), also called maize or corn, is used for its nutritive value. Parts of the plant such as maize grains, leaves, cornsilks, stalk, and inflorescence are also employed in ethnomedicine Warm tea made from the husk and leaf is taken in traditional medicine for the treatment of malaria, depression and other diseases.

Objective: Evaluation of antidepressant activity of the leaf extract was carried out to ascertain its ethnomedicinal uses.

Method: The ethanol leaf extract of Zea mays (170 - 510 mg/kg) was investigated for antidepressive activity in open field, force swimming, and tail suspension tests using Swiss albino mice.

Results: The extract was found to significantly (p<0.05-0.01) increase the frequency of line crossing, rearing and walling activities of mice in open field test. The extract also decreased significantly (p<0.05-0.001) duration of immobility time of mice in force swimming and tail suspension tests.

Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that leaf extract of Z. mays has antidepressant activity and this lay credence to its use in ethno-medicine for the treatment of depression.

Keywords: Zea mays, antidepressant, CNS stimulant


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