Medicinal use of basil, Ocimum basilicum, dates back to ancient times in Iran, China and India. In this study, we aimed to experiment on the antioxidative property of a herbal source (sweet basil) to protect central nervous system against oxidative damages of electromagnetic field (EMF) and it’s affective sequences. We used forced swimming test to evaluate antidepressant effect of basil extract in 30 albino male Wistar rats that had been exposed to 50 Hz, EMF for 8 weeks. At the end of 8th week, rats which have been feed with basil extract (1.5 g/kg body weight), showed decrease in immobility score (P < 0.001) and increase in swimming (P < 0.001), but not in climbing scores significantly in comparison with control group. Basil extract can act as serotoninergic antidepressants medicine to decrease depression presentation in exposed subjects to EMF.
Key words: Basil, depression, electromagnetic field (EMF), forced swimming test (FST).
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