Published: 2018-03-23

A comparative analysis of anxiolytic activity of Arnica montana and alprazolam in rats using open field test

Puja Jha, Seema Bhalerao, Mrunal Dhole


Background: Anxiety affects around 7.3% of the total population worldwide. Benzodiazepines are preferred anxiolytic agents and are still frequently used in spite of the side effect profile including muscle relaxation, memory disturbances, sedation, physical dependence. Arnica montana, a traditional herb is known to possess significant anxiolytic effect at the dose of 100mg/kg. In this study, Arnica montana has been compared for the first time with alprazolam, a most commonly used anxiolytic drug.

Methods: Forced swim test was used to induce anxiety. Anxiolytic action of study drugs which were given orally, was evaluated using Open field test (OFT) in healthy wistar rats of either sex. Behavior of rats, locomotion and number of squares crossed was recorded. Rats were divided into four groups with eight rats in each group. Study groups were Group I Control; Group II Alprazolam 0.08mg/kg; Group III Arnica montana extract (AME) 100mg/kg; Group IV AME + Alprazolam group 100mg/kg+0.08mg/kg. Statistical analysis was done using ANOVA followed by Tukey’s test (p<0.05).

Results: Increase in frequency of rearing was significant (p<0.05) in AME group and highly significant (p<0.001) in Alprazolam and combination group in comparison to control. Decrease in frequency of grooming was highly significant (p<0.001) in Alprazolam and combination group. AME also showed significant (p<0.05) decrease in grooming activity.

Conclusions: Arnica montana extract showed anxiolytic activity and can be used as an add on drug after further studies and validation in the treatment of anxiety disorders.


Anxiety, Alprazolam, Arnica montana, Grooming, Open field test, Rearing

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