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  • International Standard Serial Number (ISSN): 2319-8141 International Journal of Universal Pharmacy and Bio Sciences 2(3): May-June 2013



    Pharmaceutical Sciences Review Article……!!!

    Received: 12-05-2013; Accepted: 18-05-2013



    Kasthuri S *, Karthigadevi K, Manjulakshmi P, Kavimani S

    Department of Pharmacology, Mother Theresa Post Graduate and Research Institute of Health

    Sciences, Indira nagar, Gorimedu, Puducherry-06, India.


    Anticonvulsant, Herbal

    Medicines, Side Effect.

    For Correspondence:

    Kasthuri S *


    Department of

    Pharmacology, Mother

    Theresa Post Graduate

    and Research Institute of

    Health Sciences, Indira

    nagar, Gorimedu,

    Puducherry-06, India.

    Tel. +91 8760222089


    Epilepsy is a neuropsychological disorder, caused due to over

    discharge of neurotransmitter substances, which affects an

    estimated 7 million people in India and 50 million people

    worldwide. There are number of drugs available for treatment

    of epilepsy in modern therapy. The major disadvantages of

    these anticonvulsants are their chronic side effect. Herbal

    medicines are considered moderate in efficiency and less toxic

    than modern therapy. Several medicinal plants have been

    studied for anticonvulsant activity. Many researches have been

    done on traditional plants at molecular level and several

    significant phytochemicals have been isolated. This review

    focuses on plants which possess anticonvulsant properties, type

    of extraction used, chemical constituents and methods of

    induction of convulsions.

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  • International Standard Serial Number (ISSN): 2319-8141

    1. INTRODUCTION: Epilepsy is a common chronic neurological disorder affecting more than 50 million people

    worldwide. It is characterized by recurrent unprovoked seizures. Epileptic seizures are

    paroxysmal clinic events arising from neuronal hyper excitability and hyper synchrony of

    cerebral cortex, either locally (partial seizures) or diffusely in both hemispheres (generalised

    seizures). The agitated neuronal activity that occurs during a seizure is caused by a sudden

    imbalance between the inhibitory and exhibitory neurotransmitters.

    The prevalence of epilepsy in developing countries is generally higher than in developed

    countries. In India studies have reported the prevalence rate of epilepsy varying from 1710 from

    9780 cases per million populations. The currently available anticonvulsant drugs suffer from

    drawbacks like teratogenicity, chronic toxicity and adverse effects on cognition and behaviour.

    The ancient systems of medicines provide a wide range of options for these problems with vast

    source of medicinal plants, which are devoid of undesirable effects and are gaining popularity

    in most of the developing countries.

    Medicinal Plants with anticonvulsant activity:

    In the traditional Indian medicinal system many plants have been used for treatment of

    epilepsy. Ayurveda has identified many plants which possess anti convulsant effects. Some of

    them are Albizzia lebbeck, Bacopa monnieri, Butea monasperma, Acorus calamus, Centella

    asiatica, Crocus sativus, Curcuma longa, Emblica officinalis, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Cannabanis

    sativa, Hedesmus indicus, Nelumbo nucifera, Ocimum sanctum, Piper longum, Withania

    somnifera etc.

    Various phytoconstituents from plants were responsible for Antiepileptic activity including

    Lysergamide (Argyreia speciosa); Flavanoids (Anisomeles malabarica); Centellicin and

    asiaticin (Centella asiatica); Curcumin (Curcuma longa); Vitamin C and Phyllemblin (Emblica

    officinalis); Alkaloids and flavanoids (Guettarda speciosa); Piperlonumine (Piper longum);

    Solasodine (Solanum nigrum); Taxol C and β-sitosterol (Taxus wallichiana); Withanine and

    somniferine (Withania somnifera) etc.

    Plants which are effective against convulsions





    Acorus calamus [1,2]



    Asarone, β-asarone

    MES & PTZ

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    Aegle marmelos [3,4]


    Ethanolic Marmelosin(impertorin) and

    essential oils

    MES & PTZ

    Albizzia lebbeck [5,6]


    Ethanolic Sapogenin and echinocystic


    MES, PTZ and

    Lithium pilocarpine

    Argyreia speciosa [7]


    Alcoholic Lysergamide MES & PTZ

    Allium sativum [8]


    Essential oils Allicin

    MES, Strychnine

    and Lithium


    Anacylus pyrethrum [9]


    Ethanolic Alkaloids – pyrethrin and

    essential oils

    MES & PTZ

    Annona squamosa [10]


    Alcoholic Squamocin, squamostatin–A,

    annonaine and roemerine

    PTZ & Picrotoxin

    Anisomeles malabarica

    [11] (Lamiaceae)

    Ethyl acetate Flavanoids MES & PTZ

    Apium graveolens [12]


    Aqueous Anthoxanthine glycosides –

    graveobioside A.


    Bacopa monnieri [13]


    Ethanolic Saponins - hersaponin

    ,bacoside A & B.

    MES, PTZ &


    Benincasa hispida [14]


    Ethanolic Triterepenoid, glycosides &


    PTZ and Strychnine

    Boerhavia diffusa [15]


    Methanolic Punarvoside


    Butea monasperma [16]




    Palasonin, aleurilic and fatty


    MES, PTZ,

    electrical kindling

    and combination of

    lithum sulphate &

    pilocarpine nitrate

    Cannabanis sativa [17]


    Ethanolic cannabidiol PTZ

    Caesalpinia pulcherrima



    Ethanolic Saponins and flavanoids MES & PTZ

    Carissa carandas [19]


    Ethanolic Carissone and sitosterol MES, PTZ,

    picrotoxin and N-



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    Cassia occidentalis [20]



    Chrysophanic acid


    Cedrus deeodra [21]



    Dihydromyricetin, cedrine

    and deodorin

    MES & PTZ

    Centella asiatica [22]




    ethyl acetate,


    and water


    Centellicin and asiaticin


    Celastrrus paniculatus [23]




    INH & PTZ

    Cissus sicyoides [24]




    Flavanoids, linalool and α -



    Convolvulus prostrates




    Microphylic acid and



    Crocus sativus [26]



    Crocin, crocetin, picrocrocin

    and safranal


    Curcuma longa [27]



    Curcumin, curcuminoids and

    essential oils


    Cynodon dactylon [28]



    Triterpinoids and alkaloids

    MES & PTZ

    Cyporus rotundus [29]




    Sesquiterpene, pinene and


    PTZ & picrotoxin

    Cymbopogon citrates [30]


    Essential oil Citral, nerol, citronellal,

    dipentane and geraniol.

    MES & PTZ

    Desmodium triflorum [31]


    Ethanolic Hyphorine and trigonelline PTZ, INH &


    Delphinium denudatum




    and Aqueous


    Brumonine, Lycaconitine

    and delvestine

    MES, PTZ,


    picrotoxin and


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    Erythrina variegate [33]



    Isoquinoline alkaloids

    MES & PTZ

    Emblica officinalis [34]




    Vitamin C and Phyllemblin


    Glycyrrhiza glabra [35]




    PTZ and lithium-


    Guettarda speciosa [36]



    Alkaloids and flavanoids

    MES & PTZ

    Hemidesmus indicus [37]



    Desinine and rutin

    MES & PTZ

    Hisbiscus rosasinensis [38]


    Alcoholic &


    Flavanoid, triterpenoid &



    Indigofera tinctoria [39]







    induced status


    Leonotis nepetifolia [40]



    Triterpenic steroids, saponins

    and alkaloids

    PTZ and


    Melissa parviflora [41]



    Flavones and chrysin

    MES & PTZ

    Myristica fragrans [42]




    Safrole, eugenol, elemicin

    and trymyristicin.

    MES, PTZ and



    Nardostachys jatamansi



    Ethanolic Jatamols A & B and

    jatamansic acid


    Nelumbo nucifera [44]


    Chloroform Nuciferine and nelumboside MES & PTZ

    Nerium oleander [45]



    and aqueous


    and biosides

    MES & PTZ

    Nigella sativa [46]


    Aqueous Thymoquinone and p-


    PTZ and MES

    Ocimum gratissimum [47]


    Methanolic Eugenol and cineole PTZ

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    Ocimum sanctum [48]





    2, 4-dichlorophenoxy acetic

    acid and kinetin .


    Oxalis corniculata [49]


    Methanolic Flavanoids MES & PTZ

    Papaver somniferum [50]


    Methanolic Morphine Picrotoxin

    Pinus roxburghii [51]


    Alcoholic Sesquiterpenes and


    MES & PTZ

    Piper longum [52]


    Aqueous Piperlonumine,

    Piperlonuminine and


    PTZ, MES &


    Plectranthus barbatus [53]




    Forskolin Strychnine

    Pongamia pinnata [54]


    Ethanolic Quercetin,

    kaempferol and flavanoids


    Psidium guajava [55]




    Carbohydrates, proteins,

    alkaloids, flavonoids,

    phytosterols and volatile oils

    MES & PTZ

    Rauwolfia serpentine [56]


    Aqueous Reserpine,

    rubasine,ajmalicine and



    leptazol, and


    Rosa domescana [57]


    Methanolic Flavanoids PTZ

    Scutellaria lateriflora [58]


    Aqueous Flavanoids Pilocarpine and


    Smilax zeylanica [59]



    ether, ethyl

    acetate, n-

    butanol and


    Dioscin, smilagenin

    and sarsapogenin


    Sesbania grandiflora[60]




    Grandifloral and kaempferol MES & PTZ and


    Solanum nigrum [61]


    Aqueous Solasodine and diosgenin MES & PTZ and


    Saussurea lappa [62]




    Alkaloids - saussurine PTZ & picrotoxin

    Sutherlandia frutescens

    [63] (Fabaceae)

    Aqueous Flavanoids PTZ, picrotoxin

    and bicculine.

    Taxus wallichiana [64]


    Methanolic Taxol C, β-sitosterol and



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    Terminelia chebula [65]





    ethanolic and


    Anthraquinone glycosides

    and chebulinic acid

    MES & PTZ

    Teucrium polium [66]


    Ethanolic α-pinene, linalool,

    caryophyllene oxide, β-

    pinene and caryophyllene

    MES & PTZ

    Viola betonicifolia [67]


    n- hexane


    Alkaloid - violine,

    glycoside - violaquercitine


    Vitex negundo[68]


    Ethanolic Henteriacontane,

    β-sitosterol and stigmasterol

    MES & PTZ

    Withania somnifera [69]



    Withniol, withanine

    and somniferine


    Zanthoxylum armatum [70]


    Essential oils

    of the leaves

    Β-phellandrene and

    α and β amyrin


    MES – maximal electroshock, PTZ – pentylenetetrazole, INH – isoniazid.


    The present study revealed the anticonvulsant potential of some herbs that are now documented

    scientifically. In conclusion, some medicinal plants like Acorus calamus, Bacopa monnieri,

    Curcuma longa, Emblica officinalis, Vitex negundo and phytoconstituents such as Flavanoids,

    triterepenoid steroids, alkaloids and saponin possess a remarkable anticonvulsant effect with

    lesser or no side effect. The future outlook for the synthesis and formulation of herbal drugs to

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