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Sedative properties of the decoction of the rhizome of Cyperus articulatus



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Fitoterapia. 2001 Jan;72(1):22-9.

Sedative properties of the decoction of the rhizome of Cyperus articulatus.

Rakotonirina VS1, Bum EN, Rakotonirina A, Bopelet M.

  • 1Laboratory of Animal Physiology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Yaoundé I, B.P. 812 Yaoundé, Cameroon


The decoction of the rhizome of Cyperus articulatus is empirically used in several African countries in the treatment of a wide variety of human diseases. Studies were conducted in mice in order to determine scientifically the pharmacological properties of this medicinal herb. At the same time, the qualitative chemical characterisation of the total extract showed that C. articulatus contains flavonoids, saponins, tannins, terpenes and sugars. The total extract of the rhizome of C. articulatus does not appear to possess either anaesthetic or paralysing effects. In contrast, spontaneous motor activity is significantly reduced by the extract. However, when compared to diazepam, C. articulatus does not seem to have muscle relaxant effects. When associated with sodium thiopental or diazepam, the total extract facilitates sleep induction, and increases the total sleep time without any concomitant analgesic effect. These observations suggest that the rhizome of C. articulatus has pharmacological properties similar to those of sedatives. The sedative actions probably explain at least part of the therapeutic efficiency claimed for this plant in traditional medicine.



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