Neuroprotective activityof Cymbopogon martinii against cerebral ischemia/reperfusion-induced oxidative stress in rats

J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Jun 26;142(1):35-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2012.04.007.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Cymbopogon martinii (Roxb.) Watson (Family: Graminae), commonly known as Palmarosa, is traditionally prescribed for central nervous system (CNS) disorders such as neuralgia, epileptic fits and anorexia. Although the plant possesses diverse pharmacological actions, the neuroprotective action has got little attention.

Aim of the study: The present study evaluated neuroprotective effect of essential oil of Cymbopogon martinii (EOCM) against global cerebral ischemia/reperfusion (I/R)-induced oxidative stress in rats.

Materials and methods: Global ischemic brain damage was induced by bilateral common carotid artery (BCCA) occlusion for 30 min, followed by 60 min reperfusion on Wistar albino rats. The biochemical levels of lipid peroxidation (LPO), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), total thiols and glutathione (GSH) were estimated and brain coronal sections and histopathological studies were performed.

Results: BCCA occlusion, followed by reperfusion caused varied biochemical/enzymatic alterations viz. increase in LPO and decrease in SOD, CAT, total thiols and GSH. The prior treatment of EOCM (50 mg/kg and 100 mg/kg, p.o. for 10 days) markedly reversed these changes and restored to normal levels as compared to I/R groups. Moreover, brain coronal sections and histopathological studies revealed protection against ischemic brain damage in the EOCM-treated groups.

Conclusion: This study, for the first time, shows potent neuroprotective effect of EOCM against global cerebral I/R-induced oxidative stress in rats, suggesting its therapeutic potential in cerebrovascular diseases (CVD) including stroke.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Ischemia / drug therapy*
  • Brain Ischemia / metabolism
  • Brain Ischemia / pathology
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Cymbopogon*
  • Female
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Lethal Dose 50
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Male
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / toxicity
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology
  • Oils, Volatile / therapeutic use*
  • Oils, Volatile / toxicity
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Leaves
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reperfusion Injury / drug therapy*
  • Reperfusion Injury / metabolism
  • Reperfusion Injury / pathology
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds / metabolism
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism


  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds
  • Catalase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Glutathione