Antidepressant-like and toxicological effects of a standardized aqueous extract of Chrysactinia mexicana A. Gray (Asteraceae) in mice

J Ethnopharmacol. 2015 Aug 2;171:295-306. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2015.05.055. Epub 2015 Jun 10.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: C. mexicana A. Gray (Asteraceae) is a native of North America plant. In Mexico׳s folk medicine it is used for the fever, rheumatism and as a diuretic, antispasmodic, general tonic or adaptogenic herb, and as a stimulant agent. The aim of the study was to examine the antidepressant-like properties of an aqueous extract of C. mexicana (Cm), in order to scientifically describe its potential value in the management of depressive disorders. To evaluate the acute and subacute toxic effects of Cm and effects on hepatic and biochemical functions in mice.

Materials and methods: Antidepressant-like effects of Cm were evaluated in the Forced swimming and suspension tail tests (FST and TST), the ambulatory activity was measure in the Open Field Test (OFT), motor coordination was evaluated in the inverted screen and gyratory roller (IST and Rota-rod), the biochemical and histopathological analysis were carried out. Phytochemical studies of organic and aqueous extracts of Cm were thoroughly conducted.

Results: Cm produced a significant reduction of the immobility time both FST and in TST, without affect the ambulatory activity of experimental mice. Cm did not produce any damage in the hepatic functions, nor produce any significant change in the morphological tissue of organs examined.

Conclusions: Chrysactinia mexicana induces a clear antidepressant-like effect in mice, without affect any basic functions. The consumption of this medicinal plant does not represent risk for health. The chemical analysis showed the flavonoids free and glycosides mainly.

Keywords: Chrysactinia Mexicana; Damiana false; Damianita; Depression; Toxicity.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents / analysis
  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antidepressive Agents / toxicity*
  • Asteraceae*
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Flavonoids / analysis
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology
  • Flavonoids / toxicity
  • Hindlimb Suspension
  • Lethal Dose 50
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Muscle Strength / drug effects
  • Phytochemicals / analysis
  • Phytochemicals / pharmacology
  • Phytochemicals / toxicity
  • Plant Components, Aerial
  • Plant Extracts / analysis
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / toxicity*
  • Psychomotor Performance / drug effects
  • Rotarod Performance Test
  • Swimming


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Flavonoids
  • Phytochemicals
  • Plant Extracts