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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 587260, 10 pages
Research Article

Evaluation of Anxiolytic-Like Effect of Aqueous Extract of Asparagus Stem in Mice

1Institute of Medicinal Plant Development, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100094, China
2Department of TCM, Beijing Shijitan Hospital Affiliated to Capital Medical University, Beijing 100038, China
3Asparagus Engineering Research Centers of Hebei Province, Qinhuangdao 066008, China
4Hebei Normal University of Science & Technology, Qinhuangdao 066004, China
5Institute of Agro-Products Processing Science & Technology, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100193, China

Received 10 July 2013; Revised 19 September 2013; Accepted 3 October 2013

Academic Editor: Sarang Bani

Copyright © 2013 Long Cheng 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 neuropharmacological properties of asparagus, which was applied in Chinese traditional medicine as a tonic and heat-clearing agent. The present study was designed to investigate the anxiolytic-like activity of the aqueous extract of asparagus stem (AEAS) using elevated plus maze (EPM) and Vogel conflict tests (VCT) in mice. AEAS significantly increased the percentage of time spent in open arms in EPM, when compared with control group. In the Vogel conflict drinking test, the numbers of punished licks increased to 177% and 174% by the treatment of AEAS at the doses of 1.5 and 3.0 g/kg (250 and 500 mg sarsasapogenin per kilogram of body weight), compared with control group. The serum cortisol level decreased significantly, at the same time. In conclusion, these findings indicated that the aqueous extract of asparagus stem exhibited a strong anxiolytic-like effect at dose of 1.5 and 3.0 g/kg (250 and 500 mg sarsasapogenin per kilogram of body weight) in experimental models of anxiety and may be considered an alternative approach for the management of anxiety disorder.