Sedative and Anxiolytic Activities of Opuntia ficus indica (L.) Mill.: An Experimental Assessment in Mice

AKKOL E., İlhan M., Karpuz B., GENÇ Y., Sobarzo-Sanchez E.

MOLECULES, vol.25, no.8, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 25 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/molecules25081844
  • Journal Name: MOLECULES
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aerospace Database, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, Communication Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Metadex, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Affiliated: Yes


Ethnobotanical field surveys revealed the use of fruits of Opuntia ficus indica (L.) Mill. for treating diabetes, burns, bronchial asthma, constipation, kidney stones, and rheumatic pains and as a sedative in Turkish folk medicine. This study aimed to verify the efficacy of the fruits of O. ficus indica experimentally and to define components responsible for the activity using bioassay-guided procedures. The crude methanolic extract of the fruits was sequentially fractionated into five subextracts: n-hexane, dichloromethane, ethyl acetate, n-butanol, and water. Further experiments were carried out on the most active subextract, that is, the ethyl acetate (EtOAc) subextract, which was further subjected to fractionation through successive column chromatographic applications on Sephadex LH-20. For activity assessment, each extract or fraction was submitted to bioassay systems; traction test, fireplace test, hole-board test, elevated plus-maze test, and open-field test were used for sedative and anxiolytic effects, and a thiopental-induced sleeping test was used for the hypnotic effect. Among the subextracts obtained from the methanolic extract, the EtOAc subextract showed significant sedative and anxiolytic effects in the bioassay systems. From the EtOAc subextract, major components were isolated, and their structures were determined as isorhamnetin, isorhamnetin 3-O-glucoside, isorhamnetin 3-O-rutinoside, and kaempferol 3-O-rutinoside using spectral techniques. In conclusion, this study confirmed the claimed use of the plant against anxiety in Turkish folk medicine.