Screening for acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity in plants used in Thai traditional rejuvenating and neurotonic remedies

J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Dec;89(2-3):261-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2003.08.008.


Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitor has been used as a drug for the symptomatic treatment of Alzheimer's disease. In order to search for new AChE inhibitors, 32 plants used in Thai traditional rejuvenating and neurotonic remedies were collected. The plant methanolic extracts were tested for AChE inhibitory activity using Ellman's colorimetric method in 96-welled microplates. The results showed that the methanolic extracts from roots of Stephania suberosa Forman. and Tabernaemontana divaricata (L.) R.Br. ex Roem. & Schult. at concentration of 0.1 mg/ml inhibited more than 90% of AChE activity. At the same concentration, four extracts, i.e. stems of Piper interruptum Opiz., seeds of Piper nigrum L., rootbarks of Butea superba Roxb. and roots of Cassia fistula L. extracts showed 50-65% inhibitory activity on AChE. The rest of the extracts showed the AChE inhibitory activity below 50%.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholinesterase / metabolism
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Chromatography, Thin Layer
  • Humans
  • Medicine, Traditional*
  • Methanol / chemistry
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Structures / chemistry
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Thailand


  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • Plant Extracts
  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Methanol