Memory enhancing activity of Anwala churna (Emblica officinalis Gaertn.): an Ayurvedic preparation

Physiol Behav. 2007 May 16;91(1):46-54. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2007.01.016. Epub 2007 Feb 8.


Ayurveda means "the science of life". Ayur means "life" and Veda means "knowledge or science". It is the oldest medical system in the world. Its origins can be traced as far back as 4500 BC, to four ancient books of knowledge, (the "Vedas") and it is still officially recognized by the government of India. The present study was aimed at investigating the effects of Anwala churna (Emblica officinalis Gaertn.), an Ayurvedic preparation on memory, total serum cholesterol levels and brain cholinesterase activity in mice. Anwala churna was administered orally in three doses (50, 100 and 200 mg/kg) for fifteen days to different groups of young and aged mice. Elevated plus maze and passive avoidance apparatus served as the exteroceptive behavioral models for testing memory. Diazepam-, scopolamine- and ageing-induced amnesia served as the interoceptive behavioral models. Total serum cholesterol levels and brain cholinesterase activity also estimated. Anwala churna (50, 100 and 200 mg/kg, p.o.) produced a dose-dependent improvement in memory scores of young and aged mice. Furthermore, it reversed the amnesia induced by scopolamine (0.4 mg/kg, i.p.) and diazepam (1 mg/kg, i.p.). Interestingly, brain cholinesterase activity and total cholesterol levels were reduced by Anwala churna administered orally for 15 days. Anwala churna may prove to be a useful remedy for the management of Alzheimer's disease on account of its multifarious beneficial effects such as, memory improving property, cholesterol lowering property and anticholinesterase activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning / drug effects
  • Brain / enzymology
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • Cholinesterases / metabolism
  • Diazepam / antagonists & inhibitors
  • GABA Modulators / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Medicine, Ayurvedic*
  • Memory / drug effects*
  • Mice
  • Muscarinic Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Nootropic Agents / pharmacology
  • Phyllanthus emblica / chemistry*
  • Piracetam / pharmacology
  • Scopolamine / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Scopolamine / pharmacology
  • Simvastatin / pharmacology


  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • GABA Modulators
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Muscarinic Antagonists
  • Nootropic Agents
  • Cholesterol
  • Simvastatin
  • Scopolamine
  • Cholinesterases
  • Diazepam
  • Piracetam