Evaluation of centrally acting skeletal muscle relaxant activity of aqueous extract of Withania somnifera (ashwagandha) roots in albino mice


  • Sarita Panigrahy Department of Pharmacology, GVP Institute of Healthcare and Medical Technology, Maridi Valley, Marikavalasa, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India




Rota rod apparatus, Ashwagandha, Diazepam, albino mice


Background: Skeletal muscle relaxants are used to treat both muscle spasm and spasticity, acting both as antispasmodic and antispasticity agents. In past studies some polyherbal formulations containing ashwagandha have shown skeletal muscle relaxant activity and fat extract of ashwagandha showed skeletal muscle relaxant activity in experimental animal models. This study is designed to evaluate the skeletal muscle relaxant activity of aqueous extract of Withania somnifera (ashwagandha) roots in albino mice, as the literature regarding them is limited.

Methods: Standard drug (diazepam) and different doses of Aqueous extract of ashwagandha (50, 100,150mg/kg) were given orally to albino mice. Skeletal muscle relaxant activity was assessed by Rota-rod apparatus. The fall off time from the rotating rod was noted for each group after 1 hour of drug administration. The difference in fall off time from the rotating rod between the standard and treated mice was taken as an index of muscle relaxation.

Results: The test extract at doses (50mg/kg, 100mg/kg and 150mg/kg) showed highly significant reduction in the time spent by the animals on revolving rod in rota rod test when compared to baseline (p <0.0001). As compared with diazepam, aqueous extract (150mg/kg) showed almost equal reduction in the time spent by the animals on revolving rod in rota rod test.

Conclusions: This study indicates that the aqueous extract of ashwagandha possess central skeletal muscle relaxant activity. The results are promising for further investigation of efficient skeletal muscle relaxant activity.


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How to Cite

Panigrahy, S. (2018). Evaluation of centrally acting skeletal muscle relaxant activity of aqueous extract of Withania somnifera (ashwagandha) roots in albino mice. International Journal of Basic & Clinical Pharmacology, 8(1), 157–161. https://doi.org/10.18203/2319-2003.ijbcp20185176



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