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Consumption of Ashtanga Ghrita (clarified cow butter added with herb extracts) improves cognitive dysfunction induced by scopolamine in rats via regulation of acetylcholinesterase activity and oxidative stress

  • Vineet Sharma , Zeba Firdaus , Himanshu Rai , Prasanta Kumar Nayak , Tryambak Deo Singh and Dev Nath Singh Gautam ORCID logo EMAIL logo



Ashtanga Ghrita (AG), an Indian traditional formulation, has been used to promote neuropharmacological activities. AG is made up of clarified cow butter (ghee) and eight different herbs.


To test whether scopolamine (SCP)-induced dementia and brain oxidative stress can be counteracted by AG, rats were separated into five groups (n=6/group): group one control, group two SCP (1 mg/kg b.w., i.p.) treated and group three to five were co-treated with different doses of AG (1.25, 2.5 and 5 g/kg b.w., orally) and SCP. After the treatment regimen, behavioral (Y-maze test) and brain biochemical changes were measured in all groups.


Microbial load and heavy metals were found within permissible limits. Results from attenuated total reflection Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy demonstrated the complexation/interaction of herbal phytoconstituents with the functional groups of Ghrita. Preliminary phytochemical analysis of AG exhibited the occurrence of flavonoids, phenolics, glycosides, steroids, triterpenes, tannins, and amino acids. Findings of the experimental study exhibited that AG significantly protected the rats from SCP-induced behavioral dysfunction and brain biochemical alterations.


This study demonstrates that AG protects the brain from SCP-induced dementia by promoting brain antioxidant activity and thus could be a promising drug for the treatment of neurodegenerative disease.

Corresponding author: Prof. Dev Nath Singh Gautam, Department of Rasa Shastra & Bhaishajya Kalpana, Faculty of Ayurveda, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 221005, Uttar Pradesh, India, Phone: +91 9450824065, E-mail:


Authors are thankful to the Department of Physics, Institute of Science, BHU, Varanasi for providing instrumentation facilities.

  1. Research funding: None declared.

  2. Author contributions: Vineet Sharma contributed to conception or design, data acquisition, drafted and revised the manuscript. Zeba Firdaus performed the biochemical analysis and revise the manuscript. Himanshu Rai contributed to data statistical analysis and interpretation (Formal analysis). Prasanta Kumar Nayak designed the experiment and manuscript preparation. Tryambak Deo Singh designed experiment, drafted and revised the manuscript. DevNath Singh Gautam as a principal investigator, design experimental studies, drafted and revised the manuscript along with technical guidance for all aspect of the research. All authors reviewed and approved the manuscript.

  3. Competing interests: Authors state no conflict of interest.

  4. Informed consent: Not applicable.

  5. Ethical approval: The study was approved by the Central Animal Ethical Committee of the Banaras Hindu University, India.


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Received: 2021-01-15
Accepted: 2021-03-26
Published Online: 2021-06-10

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