Evaluation of nootropic potential of Ocimum sanctum Linn. in mice

Indian J Exp Biol. 2006 Feb;44(2):133-6.


Dementia is one of the age related mental problems and a characteristic symptom of various neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease. Certain drugs like diazepam, barbiturates and alcohol disrupt learning and memory in animals and man. However, a new class of drugs known as nootropic agents is now used in situations where there is organic disorder in learning abilities. The present work was undertaken to assess the potential of O. sanctum extract as a nootropic and anti-amnesic agent in mice. Aqueous extract of dried whole plant of O. sanctum ameliorated the amnesic effect of scopolamine (0.4 mg/kg), diazepam (1 mg/kg) and aging induced memory deficits in mice. Elevated plus maze and passive avoidance paradigm served as the exteroceptive behavioral models. O. sanctum extract decreased transfer latency and increased step down latency, when compared to control (piracetam treated), scopolamine and aged groups of mice significantly. O. sanctum preparations could of beneficial in the treatment of cognitive disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy
  • Amnesia / chemically induced
  • Animals
  • Dementia / drug therapy
  • Diazepam
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans
  • Maze Learning / drug effects*
  • Memory Disorders / chemically induced
  • Memory Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Mice
  • Nootropic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Nootropic Agents / pharmacology
  • Nootropic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Ocimum / chemistry*
  • Phytotherapy
  • Piracetam / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Scopolamine / pharmacology


  • Nootropic Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Scopolamine
  • Diazepam
  • Piracetam