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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 312320, 9 pages
Research Article

Evaluation of Behavioral and Pharmacological Effects of Hydroalcoholic Extract of Valeriana prionophylla Standl. from Guatemala

1Programa de Mestrado em Ciências Farmacêuticas and Núcleo de Investigações Químico-Farmacêuticas (NIQFAR)/CCS, Universidade do Vale do Itajaí (UNIVALI), 88302202 Itajaí, SC, Brazil
2Facultad de Ciencias Químicas y Farmacia, Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala (USAC), 01012, Guatemala
3Facultad de Agronomía, Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala (USAC), 01012, Guatemala

Received 13 December 2010; Accepted 20 March 2011

Copyright © 2011 Iandra Holzmann et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


There are few studies on the pharmacological properties of Valeriana prionophylla Standl. (VP), known as “Valeriana del monte”, and used in Mesoamerican folk medicine to treat sleep disorders. This study examines the pharmacological effects of the hydroalcoholic extract of the dry rhizome using the open field, rota rod, elevated plus-maze (EPM), forced swimming (FST), strychnine- and pentobarbital-induced sleeping time, PTZ-induced seizures, and the inhibitory avoidance tests. VP did not show any protective effect against PTZ-induced convulsions. In the EPM, exhibited an anxiolytic-like effect through the effective enhancement of the entries (38.5%) and time spent (44.7%) in the open arms, when compared with control group. Time spent and the numbers of entrances into the enclosed arms were decreased, similar to those effects observed with diazepam. In the FST, acute treatment with VP, produced a dose-dependent decrease in immobility time, similarly to imipramine. VP also produced a significant dose-dependent decrease in the latency of sleeping time, while producing an increase in total duration of sleep; influenced memory consolidation of the animals only at lower doses, unlike those that produced anti-depressant and anxiolytic effects. In summary, the results suggest that VP presents several psychopharmacological activities, including anxiolytic, antidepressant, and hypno-sedative effects.