Habenaria intermedia D. Don (Vriddhi; Orchidaceae) has been traditionally used in the treatment of nervous disorders, skin disorders and asthma. The available pharmacological reports on H. intermedia reveal that the plant has not been screened for antianxiety activity. Thus, it was envisaged to subject H. intermedia for screening of antianxiety activity using elevated plus maze model. The crude extracts ( n -hexane, chloroform, methanol and water extracts) of plant material were prepared successively in increasing order of polarity. The anxiolytic activity was assessed by comparing number of entries and average time spent by mice treated with test extracts (200 or 400 mg/kg, p.o. ) in open arms of EPM with respect to control and standard drug, diazepam (2 mg/kg, p.o. ). Significant antianxiety activity was observed in methanol extract with respect to control, whereas n -hexane, chloroform and water extracts did not exhibit antianxiety activity. It is further observed that antianxiety activity exhibited by the methanol extract was statistically not equivalent to the standard drug. Based on these observations, it is concluded that the methanol extract of H. intermedia exhibits mild anxiolytic activity.
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