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Abstract

CHEMICAL COMPONENTS AND NEUROBEHAVIORAL EFFECTS OF ESSENTIAL OIL OF MELISSA OFFICINALIS L. FROM MOROCCO

Amina BOUNIHI *, Ghizlane HAJJAJ, Yahia CHERRAH, AND Amina ZELLOU

Laboratory of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Department of Drugs Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Mohammed V Souissi University, ERTP, BP 6203, Rabat Institutes, Agdal, Rabat, Morocco.

ABSTRACT

Melissa officinalis L. (lamiaceae) is commonly used as calming nerves and strengthening heart in Moroccan folk medicine. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the behavioral effects of essential oil from Melissa officinalis (EOMO) on an animal model. Essential oil from fresh leaves was obtained by Hydrodistillation and analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The main components of the essential oil of MO were the Nerol (30.44%), Citral (27.03%), Isopulegol (22.02%), Caryophyllene (2.29%), Caryophyllene oxide (1.24%) and Citronella (1.06%). These major chemical components of the essential oil of Melissa officinalis L. has been previously reported, however isopulegol has never been reported as the main component of essential oil of Melissa officinalis L. Chimney test, exploratory behavioral, muscle relaxant activity, catalepsy test and thiopental sodium-induced sleeping time were studied. The results showed that the essential oil of Melissa officinalis L. at 200, 400 and 500mg/kg via oral pathway produced a significant reduction in muscle relaxant activity (Rota-rod and traction tests), remarkable decrease in exploratory behavioral (head dip test), and also significantly potentiated thiopental sodium-induced sleeping time, but didnít present catalepsy effect. In conclusion, these results suggest that the essential oil of Melissa officinalis L. possess potent sedative and hypnotic effects, which supported traditional use as a calming plant.

Keywords: Melissa officinalis L., essential oil, isopulegol, muscle relaxant activity, sedative, hypnotic.


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