Ferula assafoetida 'asafoetida' solution (FAS) has been used in Arab traditional medicine as an intestinal antiseptic, carminative and variety of gastric ailments. It has also been used as a neuroprotective agent for the treatment of epilepsy and hysteria. However, the neuro-pharmacological studies on their gum-resin have not received due attention. The present study was undertaken to study the anxiolytic, analgesic and sedative properties of asafoetida in rodents, using elevated plus maze, hole-board test, hot plate and motor activity meter. Diazepam was used as a reference anxiolytic agent in this study. The results of this study showed a dose-dependent anxiolytic and analgesic activity of asafoetida, with a mild sedative effect in high doses. Compared to diazepam, the asafoetida seems to be a better alternative for the treatment of anxiety disorders. However, further experimental and clinical studies are warranted to accurately assess its safety and efficacy for treatment of chronic anxiety.
Key words: Ferula assafoetida, anxiolytic effect, analgesic effect, mice, rats, neuroprotective agents, sedative effect.
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