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Hypnotic effect of the essential oil from the leaves of Myrtus communis on mice

Authors Birhanie MW, Walle B, Rebba KR

Received 29 November 2015

Accepted for publication 8 March 2016

Published 16 August 2016 Volume 2016:8 Pages 267—275

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NSS.S101493

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Lucy Goodman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Steven Shea

Muluken Walle Birhanie,1 Bizuayehu Walle,1 Kidist Rebba2

1Department of Physiology, 2Department of Nursing, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia


Background: Myrtus communis has been suggested as a sleep aid in unconventional medicine. Moreover, previous studies have also indicated its sedative- and hypnotic-like activity. In this study, the hypnotic effect of M. communis was investigated.
Methods: Essential oil (EO) of M. communis (600, 800, and 1,000 mg/kg) was given orally to Swiss albino mice of both sex, and the hypnotic effect was evaluated. In addition, the EO of M. communis (500, 600, 800, and 1,000 mg/kg) was administered orally to Swiss albino mice of both sex 60 minutes prior to pentobarbital injection (50 mg/kg). Latency to sleep and sleep duration were recorded. The effect of the EO on motor coordination and muscle relaxation was evaluated using chimney and traction tests, 60 and 90 minutes after administration of the respective doses of the EO, respectively.
Results: There was no induction of hypnosis as the presence of the righting reflex was intact. However the EO prolonged pentobarbital-induced sleeping time and there was also 50% negative response on the chimney and traction test in a dose dependent manner.
Conclusion: The EO of M. communis did not produce a hypnotic effect, but it potentiated a hypnotic effect with significant central nervous system depressant activity.

Keywords: Myrtus communis, hypnotic, motor coordination, muscle relaxation, essential oil

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