Introduction: Natural products since time immemorial have been the source and backbone of traditional medicine. A number of well-known anxiolytic agents currently used have several side effects that limit their use. Among medicinal plants, leaves of Annona muricata have been recommended by traditional healers for the management of anxiety. This study is to evaluate the anxiolytic effects of the aqueous and ethanolic extracts of the leaves and bark of Annona muricata.
Methodology: Aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Annona muricata were prepared and subsequently evaluated for anxiolytic activity using the elevated plus maze model. The antianxiety effect of the extracts were compared to the negative control (distilled water 10 ml/kg) and standard drug Diazepam (5 mg/kg).
Results and discussion: 200 mg/kg and 400 mg/kg of the aqueous leaves extract of Annona muricata showed a significant increase in mean entries into open arms and mean time spent in open arms. All doses (100 mg/kg, 200 mg/kg and 400 mg/kg) of the ethanolic bark extract of Annona muricata showed significant increase in mean time spent in open arms.
Conclusions: This study demonstrated that both the aqueous and ethanolic extracts of the leaves and bark of Annona muricata exert an anxiolytic effect on rats which substantiates its folkloric use in the management of anxiety.