Pharmacological insights on the antidepressant, anxiolytic and aphrodisiac potentials of Aglaonema hookerianum Schott

J Ethnopharmacol. 2021 Mar 25:268:113664. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2020.113664. Epub 2020 Dec 3.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Aglaonema hookerianum Schott is an ethnomedicinally important plant used to treat a variety of diseases, including sexual and depression-like disorders. However, the scientific basis underlying the aforesaid properties have not been well justified.

Aim of the study: The present investigation aimed to investigate the anxiolytic, antidepressant and aphrodisiac potentials of methanol leaves extract of A. hookerianum (MEAH) in Swiss albino mice.

Materials & methods: Swiss albino mice (20-30 g) were orally administrated with MEAH at the doses ranging from 100 to 400 mg/kg, b.w. The elevated plus maze (EPM) and hole board test (HBT) were performed to determine the anxiolytic activity and the forced swimming test (FST) and tail suspension test (TST) were performed to determine the antidepressant activity of MEAH. Besides, the aphrodisiac activity of MEAH was conducted through the mounting behaviour and orientation behaviour analysis. Diazepam (1 mg/kg, b.w., i.p.) for EPM and HBT; fluoxetine HCl (20 mg/kg, b.w., p.o.) for FST and TST, and sildenafil (5 mg/kg, b.w., p.o.) for the mounting behaviour analysis and orientation behaviour analysis were used as reference drugs.

Results: The administration of the MEAH produced a strong (p < 0.001) dose-dependent anxiolytic effects in both HBT and EPM tests. Likewise, the extract revealed a significant (p < 0.001) reduction in the immobility time in both FST and TST as compared to the control group. Besides, the MEAH also found to possess marked aphrodisiac activity complying several facets such as an increase in the sexual performance at the highest dose (400 mg/kg, p.o.) as well as the orientation toward female mice (p < 0.001) at all tested doses.

Conclusion: Taken together, MEAH can be recommended as a potent source of neuroprotective and a libido-boosting drug candidate for the management of neurological and sexual disorders.

Keywords: Aglaonema hookerianum; Antidepressant; Anxiolytic; Aphrodisiac effects; Libido-booster; Neuroprotective.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antidepressive Agents / isolation & purification
  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacology
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Aphrodisiacs / isolation & purification
  • Aphrodisiacs / pharmacology
  • Aphrodisiacs / therapeutic use*
  • Araceae*
  • Depression / drug therapy*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Hindlimb Suspension / adverse effects
  • Hindlimb Suspension / physiology
  • Hindlimb Suspension / psychology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Random Allocation
  • Swimming / physiology
  • Swimming / psychology


  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Aphrodisiacs
  • Plant Extracts