Objectives: Hibiscus (H.) esculentus L. (Okra) is distributed from Africa to Asia, Southern European and America and widely used as food. The aim of present study was to investigate antidepressant activity of Okra seeds and leaves.
Materials and methods: Antidepressant activity of methanolic extracts were evaluated by forced swimming test (FST) and tail suspension tests (TST). Also, total phenol and flavonoid contents were measured by Folin Ciocalteau and AlCl3 assays, respectively.
Results: Phenol and flavonoid contents of extracts were determined as gallic acid and quercetin equivalents from a calibration curve, respectively. Extracts showed good antidepressant activity in both FST and TST. The extracts shortened remarkably the immobility period in FST and TST and exhibited a dose dependent activity. Seeds extract in 250, 500 and 750 mg kg-1 showed significant activity as compared to control (p < 0.001). Both extracts at 750 mg kg-1 showed similar activity as imipramine 15 mg kg-1 (p > 0.05) in TST. Extracts contained high amount of phenol and flavonoids. No mortality has been observed up to 2 g kg-1 for seeds and 2.5 g kg-1 for leaves.
Conclusions: These results introduced H. esculentus seeds and leaves as an easily accessible and edible source of natural antidepressant.