Artemisia absinthium L. has long been used as traditional herbal medicine in China, Europe and Pakistan for the treatment of gastric pain, cardiac stimulation, to improve memory and for the restoration of declining mental function.
The present study was designed to investigate the potential protective effects of Artemisia absinthium on cerebral oxidative stress and damage as well as behavioral disturbances induced by cerebral ischemia and reperfusion injury in rats.
Focal ischemia and reperfusion were induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) for 90 min, followed by 24 h reperfusion. MCAO led to significant rise in infarct size and lipid peroxidation, and depletion in glutathione content, superoxide dismutase and catalase activity in brain. Further, behavioral deficits like motor incoordination and impairment of short-term memory were also significantly impaired by MCAO as compared with sham group.
The brain oxidative stress and damage, and behavioral deficits were significantly attenuated by pre-treatment with the methanol extract of Artemisia absinthium (100 mg/kg and 200 mg/kg, p.o.).
These findings suggested that Artemisia absinthium is neuroprotective and may prove to be useful adjunct in the treatment of stroke.