Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) may provide antidepressant activity in anxious, depressed humans: an exploratory study.
ABSTRACT 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.
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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).Ethnobiology and Conservation. 09/2013; 2(7):1-40.
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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. · 0.80 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Herbal treatments have a long standing tradition for a range of gastrointestinal conditions. In contrast, the scientific evidence for the use of herbal preparations is mixed. Available studies are plagued by methodological limitations. For functional gastrointestinal disorders there is evidence for the use of some well characterized preparations. In inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) there are limited placebo controlled trials, other studies use active controls with suboptimal doses of the comparators. Aside from patchy evidence supporting the use of herbal medicines, it is also of importance to consider that plants and plant extracts contain constituents that may vary depending upon environmental conditions during growth. Variable environmental conditions may affect the composition and the concentration of the active ingredients. In addition, most herbs provide a variable plethora of chemical families with medicinal utility. While these ingredients might be of benefit, the concentration and dose of these constituents needs to be closely monitored. Nevertheless, many herbal preparations are marketed without evidence for stringent adherence to good manufacturing practice (GMP) guidelines. Thus physicians and regulators should be very cautious with the use of these remedies. Appropriate scientific evidence for the claimed clinical benefits should become mandatory. In addition, the standards for production and safety monitoring should comply with established standards for chemically defined products. With these processes in mind the full value of herbal remedies may come to light particularly as the bioactive compounds present in these preparations become recognized.Clinical gastroenterology and hepatology: the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association 03/2014; · 5.64 Impact Factor