Common verbena better than drugs in treating convulsions

Epilepsy is a neurological condition that causes unexpected seizures. To manage seizure attacks, anticonvulsant compounds are used. A group of researchers from Tehran University of Medical SciencesIslamic Azad University, and Iran University of Medical Sciences discovered that the aerial parts of the common verbena (Verbena officinalis) exhibit anticonvulsant activity. This finding, which was published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine, was based on in vivo studies conducted in mice.

  • Anticonvulsant drugs are the most common treatments given to epileptic patients. However, these drugs have been shown to cause unwanted side effects like toxicity and congenital malformations.
  • The common verbena has been used as a traditional medicine for over 200 years. It is used to treat diseases like insomnia, anxiety, and irritability. Aside from these, the common verbena has also exhibited relaxant, gastroprotective, anti-inflammatory, and antidepressant properties.
  • For this study, the effects of the aerial parts of the common verbena were determined in mice that were induced to have seizures. Seizure induction was done either by exposing to pentylenetetrazole or by maximal electroshock.
  • Aside from anticonvulsant activity, phytochemical content and cytotoxicity were also determined.

Results of the study show that the aerial parts of the common verbena have anticonvulsant activity, which is possibly attributed to the presence of glycosides and alkaloids. It was also hypothesized that the mechanism of action behind the plant’s anticonvulsant activity involves an increase in gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the central nervous system.

Read the full text of the study at this link.

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Journal Reference:

Rashidian A, Kazemi F, Mehrzadi S, Dehpour AR, Mehr SE, Rezayat SM. ANTICONVULSANT EFFECTS OF AERIAL PARTS OF VERBENA OFFICINALIS EXTRACT IN MICE: INVOLVEMENT OF BENZODIAZEPINE AND OPIOID RECEPTORS. Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine. 4 April 2017;22(4). DOI: 10.1177/2156587217709930

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