Cuminum cyminum extract attenuates scopolamine-induced memory loss and stress-induced urinary biochemical changes in rats: a noninvasive biochemical approach

Pharm Biol. 2011 Jul;49(7):702-8. doi: 10.3109/13880209.2010.541923.


Context: Cuminum cyminum Linn. (Apiaceae), cumin, is a popular spice with a long history of medicinal use to treat various symptoms such as diarrhea, flatulence, gynecological, and respiratory diseases.

Objective: To date, no scientific investigation was reported regarding memory-enhancing and antistress activity of cumin fruits. The present study deals with the memory-enhancing and antistress activities and further the antioxidant status via lipid peroxidation inhibition.

Materials and methods: Antistress activity was evaluated by inducing stress via forced swimming and the urinary vanillylmandelic acid (VMA) and ascorbic acid were estimated as biomarkers. Memory-enhancing activity was studied by conditioned avoidance response using Cook's pole climbing apparatus in normal and scopolamine-induced amnestic rats. Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) assay was used to evaluate the lipid peroxidation.

Results: Daily administration of cumin at doses of 100, 200, and 300 mg/kg body weight 1 h prior to induction of stress inhibited the stress-induced urinary biochemical changes in a dose-dependent manner without altering the levels in normal control groups. The cognition, as determined by the acquisition, retention, and recovery in rats, was observed to be dose-dependent. The extract also produced significant lipid peroxidation inhibition in comparison with known antioxidant ascorbic acid in both rat liver and brain.

Discussion and conclusion: This study provides scientific support for the antistress, antioxidant, and memory-enhancing activities of cumin extract and substantiates that its traditional use as a culinary spice in foods is beneficial and scientific in combating stress and related disorders.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Antioxidants / isolation & purification
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology
  • Ascorbic Acid / urine
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Cuminum / chemistry*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Medicine, Traditional
  • Memory Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Scopolamine / toxicity
  • Stress, Psychological / drug therapy*


  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Extracts
  • Scopolamine
  • Ascorbic Acid