Influence of Withania somnifera on obsessive compulsive disorder in mice

Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2012 May;5(5):380-4. doi: 10.1016/S1995-7645(12)60063-7.


Objective: To study the influence of methanolic and aqueous extract of Withania somnifera (W. somnifera) root on the marble-burying behavior of mice a well-accepted model of obsessive compulsive behavior.

Methods: Mice were divided in different groups (n = 6). Fluoxetine (5, 10, 15 mg/kg), (10, 25, 50, 100 mg/kg) and methanolic extract W. somnifera (MEWS) (10, 25, 50, 100 mg/kg) were administered i.p. 30 min. prior to the assessment of marble burying behavior and locomotor activity. The control group received vehicle of the extract.

Results: Administration of aqueous extracts W. somnifera (AEWS) and MEWS (50 mg/kg) successively decreased the marble burying behavior activity without affecting motor activity. This effect of AEWS and MEWS was comparable to standard fluoxetine, ritanserin and parachlorophenylalanine.

Conclusions: W. somnifera extract is effective in treating obsessive compulsive disorder.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Phytotherapy / methods*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Roots
  • Ritanserin / pharmacology
  • Withania*


  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Ritanserin