Anxiety affects large number of population worldwide. Benzodiazepines are preferred anxiolytic agents and are still frequently used in spite of the side effect profile. Arnica montana, a traditional herb is known to possess significant anxiolytic effect at the dose of 100mg/kg. In this study, Arnica montana has been compared with Alprazolam which is used as anxiolytic drug.
Materials and Methods: Forced swim test was used to induce anxiety. Anxiolytic action of study drugs which were given orally, was evaluated using Elevated plus maze test (EPM) in healthy wistar rats of either sex. Number of open arm entries, closed arm entries and time spent in open arms was recorded. Rats were divided into four groups with eight rats in each group. Study groups were Group I Control; Group II Alprazolam 0.08mg/kg; Group III Arnica montana extract (AME) 100mg/kg; Group IV AME + Alprazolam group 100mg/kg+0.08 mg/kg. Statistical analysis was done using ANOVA (p<0.05).
Results: Time spent in open arms was significant (p<0.05) in AME group and highly significant (p<0.001) in Alprazolam and combination group in comparison to control. Decrease in frequency of closed arm entries was highly significant (p<0.001) in Alprazolam and combination group and was also significant (p<0.05) in AME group.
Conclusions: Arnica montana may have considerable therapeutic benefit as an anxiolytic agent and can be used as an add on drug after further studies and validation in the treatment of anxiety disorders.