Anxiogenic properties of Ptychopetalum olacoides Benth. (Marapuama)

Phytother Res. 2002 May;16(3):223-6. doi: 10.1002/ptr.825.


Alcohol infusions of roots of Ptychopetalum olacoides Benth. (PO), known as Marapuama or Muirapuama, are used in the Brazilian Amazon as a 'nerve tonic'. Over the years PO has been found increasingly in phytoformulations and regarded as a stimulant, claimed to enhance physical and mental performances. This study determined that a P. olacoides ethanol extract (30, 100 and 300 mg/kg) decreased exploratory behaviour in the hole-board test, without interfering with locomotion or motor coordination (rota-rod test). The data are comparable to that obtained with pentylenetetrazol (40 mg/kg), suggesting an anxiogenic effect of P. olacoides.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / pharmacology*
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Brazil
  • Locomotion / drug effects
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Motor Skills / drug effects
  • Olacaceae*
  • Pentylenetetrazole / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Roots / chemistry


  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Pentylenetetrazole