Erythrina mulungu is a species if tree that is native to Brazil. Erythrina mulungu is used in Brazilian traditional medicine as a sedative and calmative, suggesting it has particular central nervous system effects. A number of erythrina species of plant have been shown to possess anxiolytic effects in animals models of stress, suggesting that common phytochemicals within the trees are beneficial at elevating mood. For example, in one study, researchers investigated the effects of extracts of Erythrina mulungu on rats. Extracts of the tree were prepared by taking the complete the complete flower head including stems, stalks, bracts, and flowers (the inflorescence), and this was administered to rats prior to exposing them to stress in the form of a maze test. The results of the study showed that the Erythrina mulungu extracts were significantly effective at reducing anxious behaviour in the rats, in a manner similar to the reference drug, the benzodiazepine diazepam, suggesting they were potential anxiolytic agents.
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