Anxiety and depression are the most commonly reported psychiatric conditions and frequently occur as comorbid disorders. While the advent of conventional drug therapies has simplified treatment, a large segment of the population goes untreated or declines conventional therapy for financial, cultural, or personal reasons. Therefore, the identification of inexpensive and effective alternative therapies for anxiety and depression is of relevance to public health.
The current study explores data from a 2009 clinical chamomile trial in humans to determine if chamomile provides clinically meaningful antidepressant activity versus a placebo.
In the 2009 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, the research team examined the antianxiety and antidepressant action of oral chamomile (Matricaria recutita) extract in participants with symptoms of comorbid anxiety and depression.
In the 2009 study, all of participants' evaluations took place at the Depression Research Unit at the University of Pennsylvania. The study drew participants from patients at the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health's primary care clinic at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
Of the 57 participants in the 2009 trial, 19 had anxiety with comorbid depression; 16 had anxiety with a past history of depression; and 22 had anxiety with no current or past depression.
The intervention and placebo groups in the 2009 trial received identically appearing 220-mg capsules containing either pharmaceutical-grade chamomile extract standardized to a content of 1.2% apigenin or a placebo (ie, lactose monohydrate NF), respectively.
In the current study, the research team used generalized estimating equations analysis to identify clinically meaningful changes over time in scores from the Hamilton Depression Rating (HAM-D) questionnaire among treatment groups.
In the current study, the research team observed a significantly greater reduction over time in total HAM-D scores for chamomile vs placebo in all participants (P < .05). The team also observed a clinically meaningful but nonsignificant trend for a greater reduction in total HAM-D scores for chamomile vs placebo in participants with current comorbid depression (P = .062). When the team examined the HAM-D core mood item scores, it observed a significantly greater reduction over time for chamomile vs placebo in all participants (P < .05) and a clinically meaningful but nonsignificant trend for a greater reduction over time for chamomile vs placebo in participants without current or past depression (P = .06).
Chamomile may provide clinically meaningful antidepressant activity that occurs in addition to its previously observed anxiolytic activity.
"recutita) extract, standardized to a content of 1.2% apigenin extract, in patients with symptoms of comorbid anxiety and depression. The authors concluded that chamomile may be clinically relevant due to its antidepressant activity in addition to its previously observed anxiolytic activity (Amsterdam et al., 2012). Another group analyzed one fraction of the methanol extract of the dried flowers of M. chamomilla by HPLC-MS-MS, also identified apigenin as a major component. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The term “nervios” is referred as a folk illness recognized by Mexican Traditional Medicine, and also widely reported across many countries in Latin America. “Nervios” are characterized by a “state of bodily and mental unrest”, which decreases the ability to achieve daily goals. The causes are varied; in fact, any situation that alters the emotional state or mood is interpreted as a possible triggering agent. Depression and anxiety are psychiatric disorders, which share symptoms, or can be included in the same group of disorders with “nervios”. The therapies are designed to reassure health, i.e. “calm the nerves”. For this propose, the oral administration of plants infusions is common. In this review we compile information regarding the plants used for the treatment of “nervios” in México, along with those for which reports of anxiolytic or/and antidepressive activity exist. We found 92 plant species used in folk medicine for the treatment of “nervios”, among these, sixteen have been studied experimentally. The most studied plant is Galphimia glauca Cav., Malpighiaceae, which current clinical studies have validated its efficacy in patients, and their active components, the triterpenes galphimine A, B, and C, identified. Inter-estingly only nine plants were found to be reported in folk medicine for the treatment of sad- ness or/and depression, but their antidepressant activity has not been investigated. However, among the plants used in folk medicine for treatment of “nervios”, several, as Litsea glaucescens Kunth, Lauraceae, have been proven to show antidepressant activity in experimental models, and some of their active compounds have been determined. These species could be a potential source of compounds with activity in the central nervous system.
Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia 10/2014; 127(5). DOI:10.1016/j.bjp.2014.10.007 · 0.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Herbal medications are considered as integral part of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). CAM is a group of diverse medical and healthcare systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine. Several studies have reported that between 30 and 40% of the general North American population are currently using, or have used CAM. Furthermore, over 50% of patients which require health care use CAM either alone or in conjunction with conventional medications. Most importantly, almost 20% of the patients that consult a physician are taking herbal medications.
Patients, and in some cases health care providers as well, are not fully aware of the health risks incurred by ingestion of these compounds, either due to their potential adverse effects, or to their pharmacological interactions with other medications prescribed by the physician. This situation is further compounded by the fact that, at least, 60% of the patients taking herbal medications do not disclose this fact to their physician.
This course provides the knowledge and tools, required for the clinician to discuss natural health products with patients and other members of the health care team. It also discusses the need for the physician to actively inquire if the patient is taking herbal medications, and take that into account prior to prescribing new medications.
A brief historical background and an overview of regulatory bodies responsible for overseeing herbal medications are provided. Relevant examples of widely used herbal compounds are presented. Clinically relevant information on commonly used herbal medications regarding therapeutic effectiveness, pharmacological mechanism of action, adverse effects and drug interactions are reviewed based on scientific evidence.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present contribution includes 50 species of Asteraceae whose products are marketed with therapeutic and aromatic purposes in the conurbation Buenos Aires-La Plata, the largest metropolitan area of Argentina. For each species, the scientific and vernacular names, types of products and samples are given. The plant products comprise fresh plants or parts thereof, herbal products, tinctures, and dietary supplements, among others. The uses assigned and the effects scientifically studied are indicated. Also, the ethnobotanical value of the diverse plant products and their commercial circulation are discussed. Circulating products and their uses were studied, both in the restricted context of immigrant segments (Bolivian and Chinese), and in the broader context of general commercial circuit (health food stores, named locally 'dietéticas'). Botanical knowledge of immigrants segments is considered linked to their traditions, and botanical knowledge of general commercial circuit is regarded nontraditional. Research conducted is framed within the urban ethnobotany context. Specially, it addresses some relevant theoretical and methodological topics within discipline: composition of botanical knowledge in urban pluricultural scenarios (linked to traditions, nontraditional), the embodiment of this knowledge in actions (such as selection of products to consume), and the dynamic of changes in urban botanical knowledge (dispersion of products and uses in the commercial circuit and media).
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