Objective: To investigate the neuropsychopharmacological effect of a polyherbal formulation (PHF) on the learning and memory processes in rats.
Materials and methods: PHF contains Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha), Nardostachys jatamansi (Jatamansi), Rauwolfia serpentina (Sarpagandha), Evolvulus alsinoides (Shankhpushpi), Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari), Emblica officinalis (Amalki), Mucuna pruriens (Kauch bij extract), Hyoscyamus niger (Khurasani Ajmo), Mineral resin (Shilajit), Pearl (Mukta Shukhti Pishti), and coral calcium (Praval pishti). Its effect (500 mg / kg, p.o.) on the learning and memory processes was tested. The activity of PHF on memory acquisition and retention was studied using passive avoidance learning and elevated plus maze model (EPM) in rats.
Results: The animals treated with PHF showed a significant decrease in transfer latency as compared to the control group in EPM. PHF also produced significant improvement in passive avoidance acquisition and memory retrieval, as compared to the controls and reduced the latency to reach the shock free zone (SFZ) after 24 hours.
Conclusion: The PHF produces significant improvement in passive avoidance acquisition and memory retrieval in rats, which needs further investigation.
Keywords: Elevated plus maze; passive avoidance learning; short-term memory; transfer latency.