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Author(s): Parle Milind | Gurditta

Journal: International Journal of Research in Ayurveda and Pharmacy
ISSN 2229-3566

Volume: 2;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 1358;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Hypothermia | Despair | Papaya | Immobility.

Papita, a fibrous, juicy and tasty fruit, belonging to family Caricaceae is scientifically known as Carica papaya L. Traditionally, Papaya is used as an abortifacient and as a wound-healer. Furthermore, Papaya possesses several medicinal properties such as anti-hypertensive, anti-oxidant, anti-tumor, anti-fertility, hypo-lipidaemic, anthelmintic, nephro-protective, anti-inflammatory, anti-amoebic, anti-bacterial and anti-sickling property. There are no reports in literature pertaining to CNS actions of Carica papaya. In the light of above, the present study was undertaken to test the antidepressant potential of Carica papaya fruit. Carica papaya pulp (CPP) was administered at various concentrations ranging from 4% to 16% w/v, p.o. to Swiss mice for 15 days and Wistar rats for 6 successive days. The antidepressant activity was measured using forced swim test (FST), tail suspension test (TST) and reserpine induced hypothermia model. The efficacy of Papaya was compared with standard antidepressant drugs such as fluoxetine (20mg/kg, p.o.), imipramine (15mg/kg, p.o.) and phenelzine (20 mg/kg, p.o.). The results of the present study showed that Papaya pulp significantly decreased immobility time in both FST and TST models. It also reversed the hypothermia induced by reserpine. The efficacy of Papaya was found to be comparable to fluoxetine, imipramine and phenelzine. Furthermore, Carica papaya juice inhibited the monoamine oxidase MAO-A and MAO-B activity and reduced significantly malondialdehyde (MDA) levels. These findings reveal the antidepressant potential of Papaya. The probable mechanism of action for the beneficial effect of Papita in depression appears to be related to its i) MAO inhibitory activity ii) tyrosine, phenylalanine (NE precursors) and tryptophan (5-HT precursor) content and iii) antioxidant property.
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