Background: Glycyrrhiza glabra Linn. (Family: Fabaceae) is known to be a very useful
medicinal plant in the Traditional Medicinal Systems since centuries. With ethnopharmacological
values, it is a well-reported plant for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anxiolytic, expectorant and
Objective: Although the plant has been described to possess memory enhancing activity, the present
study focused on examining the comparative effect of Glycyrrhiza glabra extracts viz.
flavonoid rich (GGFE) and glycyrrhizin rich (GGGE) in stress-triggered rats and providing future
research insights on this herbal drug, for which no scientific justification has been reported till
Methods: Male Wister rats divided into 7 different groups (n= 6 per group) were given chronic
foot-shock stress for 21 successive days with scheduled administration of the extracts (50 and 100
mg/kg) and standard drug (10 mg/kg) for 28 days. Elevated Plus Maze, Rectangular Maze, Morris
Water Maze, and Locomotor activity were performed to test behavioral alteration and learning ability
of stressed rats. Further, rats were sacrificed to assay acetylcholinesterase activity and antioxidant
activity in brain samples for their mechanistic role in learning and memory.
Results: Extracts of Glycyrrhiza glabra indicated a significant alteration in stress-induced learning
and memory deficiency in behavioral parameters studied. These extracts also modulated significant
changes in acetylcholinesterase and antioxidant enzyme activity to improve the learning and memory
of stressed rats.
Conclusion: Both the extracts of Glycyrrhiza glabra (GGFE and GGGE) were found to exert memory
enhancing property in stress-triggered rats. Moreover, the comparative results confirmed that
the high potential of GGGE in comparison to GGFE might be due to the rich glycyrrhizin content
present in GGGE responsible for acetylcholinesterase and antioxidant enzyme modulatory activities.
Therefore, GGGE could be used as a promising lead for further mechanistic and molecular
studies for defining the role of glycyrrhizin in Glycyrrhiza glabra.