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Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin
Vol. 23 (2000) No. 11 P 1314-1317



In the present work we studied the anticonvulsive effects of the essential oils (EOs) from three chemotypes of Lippia alba (Mill.) N.E.Brown (Verbenaceae). Animals (female Swiss mice, 25 g) were treated with the EO and, 30 or 60 min after intraperitoneal (i.p.) or oral (p.o.) administration, respectively, injected with pentylenetetrazole (80 mg/kg, i.p.) and observed for 30 min. The results showed that EO I (200 and 400 mg/kg), EO II (100, 200 and 400 mg/kg), and EO III (400 mg/kg), i.p., produced an increased latency time for the first convulsion as related to controls. Death latency was greater in the groups receiving EO I (50 and 100 mg/kg), EO II (100 and 200 mg/kg), and EO III (200 mg/kg), i.p. Orally, while no effect was demonstrated with EOs at doses of 200 of 400 mg/kg, significant increases in the latency of convulsion and latency of death were observed with EO I at the highest dose (800 mg/kg). Similarly, EO III at this dose was also effective as far as latency of convulsion is concerned. Animals treated with citral (100 mg/kg, i.p.), β-myrcene or limonene (200 mg/kg, i.p.), EOs chemical constituents, presented significant increases in the latency of convulsion and percentage of survival as compared to controls. After oral administration these effects were observed only with a higher dose (400 mg/kg). The association of EOs with diazepam significantly potentiated their effects, suggesting a similar mechanism of action and indicating that citral, β-myrcene, and limonene are probably the EOs active compounds.

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