Context Coriandrum sativum L. (Apiaceae) (coriander) is an herb grown throughout the world as a culinary, medicinal or essential crop. In traditional medicine, it is used for the relief of anxiety and insomnia. Systemic hydro-alcoholic and aqueous extract from aerial parts and seeds had anxiolytic and sedative action in rodents, but little is known about its central effect in chicks. Objective To study the effects of intracerebroventricular administration of essential oil from coriander seeds and its major component linalool on locomotor activity and emotionality of neonatal chicks. Materials and methods The chemical composition of coriander essential oil was determined by a gas-chromatographic analysis (> 80% linalool). Behavioural effects of central administration of coriander oil and linalool (both at doses of 0.86, 8.6 and 86 μg/chick) versus saline and a sedative diazepam dose (17.5 μg/chick, standard drug) in an open field test for 10 min were observed. Results Doses of 8.6 and 86 μg from coriander oil and linalool significantly decreased (p < 0.05) squares crossed number, attempted escapes, defecation number and distress calls, and significantly increased (p < 0.05) the sleeping posture on an open field compared with saline and were similar to the diazepam group. Discussion and conclusion The results indicate that intracerebroventricular injection of essential oil from Coriandrum sativum seeds induced a sedative effect at 8.6 and 86 μg doses. This effect may be due to monoterpene linalool, which also induced a similar sedative effect, and, therefore, could be considered as a potential therapeutic agent similar to diazepam.
Keywords: Coriander; i.c.v. injection; locomotor behavior; sedation.