Herbal remedies for anxiety - A systematic review of controlled clinical trials

Complementary Medicine Peninsula Medical School, Universities of Exeter Plymouth, UK.
Phytomedicine (Impact Factor: 3.13). 03/2006; 13(3):205-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.phymed.2004.11.006
Source: PubMed


Anxiety is a prominent indication for herbal medicine. This systematic review was therefore aimed at summarising the evidence for or against the anxiolytic efficacy of such treatments. Six databases were searched for all randomised clinical trials testing herbal monopreparations in the alleviation of anxiety. Seven such studies and one systematic review were located. Eight different herbals were studied. The herbal medicines, which, according to these data are associated with anxiolytic activity in humans, are Piper methysticum and Bacopa monniera. Only for kava were independent replications available. It was concluded that there is a lack of rigorous studies in this area and that only kava has been shown beyond reasonable doubt to have anxiolytic effects in humans.

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    • "The consumption of herbals and herbal supplements for both the alleviation of the diseases' symptoms and the prevention is renowned in all parts of the world since the ancient times. Nowadays, based on traditional remedies, several studies demonstrate that nutritional and herbal supplementation is an effective method for treating anxiety and anxiety-related conditions [1], although there is a lack of rigorous clinical studies in this area [2]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Our aim was to investigate the possible effects of regular drinking of Rosmarinus officinalis L. leaf infusion on behavior and on AChE activity of mice. Rosemary tea (2% w/w) phytochemical profile was investigated through LC/DAD/ESI-MS(n). Adult male mice were randomly divided into two groups: "Rosemary-treated" that received orally the rosemary tea for 4 weeks and "control" that received drinking water. The effects of regular drinking of rosemary tea on behavioral parameters were assessed by passive avoidance, elevated plus maze and forced swimming tests. Moreover, its effects on cerebral and liver cholinesterase (ChE) isoforms activity were examined colorimetricaly. Phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of diterpenes, flavonoids and hydroxycinnamic derivatives in rosemary tea; the major compounds were quantitatively determined. Its consumption rigorously affected anxiety/fear and depression-like behavior of mice, though memory/learning was unaffected. ChE isoforms activity was significantly decreased in brain and liver of "rosemary treated" mice. In order to explain the tissue ChE inhibition, principal component analysis, pharmacophore alignment and molecular docking were used to explore a possible relationship between main identified compounds of rosemary tea, i.e. rosmarinic acid, luteolin-7-O-glucuronide, caffeic acid and known AChE inhibitors. Results revealed potential common pharmacophores of the phenolic components with the inhibitors. Our findings suggest that rosemary tea administration exerts anxiolytic and antidepressant effects on mice and inhibits ChE activity; its main phytochemicals may function in a similar way as inhibitors. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Chemico-biological interactions
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    • "Bacoside A is a mixture of bacosaponin isomers. These active components facilitate learning and memory and also possess antiamnesic, antistress (Chowdhuri et al. 2002), anxiolytic (Ernst 2006), antidementic (Dhawan and Singh 1996), antiulcerogenic , antiarthritis, anti-inflammatory (Channa et al. 2006), antifatigue (Anand et al. 2012) and neuroprotective properties (Dhanasekharan et al. 2007; Pandareesh and Anand 2013). We previously demonstrated the antioxidant and plasmid DNA damage preventive properties of hexane, chloroform, ethyl acetate, acetone , methanol and aqueous extracts from B. monniera (Anand et al. 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), a major reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced during oxidative stress, is toxic to the cells. Hence, H2O2 has been extensively used to study the effects of antioxidant and cytoprotective role of phytochemicals. In the present investigation H2O2 was used to induce oxidative stress via ROS production within PC12 and L132 cells. Cytoprotective propensity of Bacopa monniera extract (BME) was confirmed by cell viability assays, ROS estimation, lipid peroxidation, mitochondria membrane potential assay, comet assay followed by gene expression studies of antioxidant enzymes in PC12 and L132 cells treated with H2O2 for 24 h with or without BME pre-treatment. Our results elucidate that BME possesses radical scavenging activity by scavenging 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl, 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid), superoxide radical, and nitric oxide radicals. The IC50 value of BME against these radicals was found to be 226.19, 15.17, 30.07, and 34.55 µg/ml, respectively). The IC50 of BME against ROS, lipid peroxidation and protein carbonylation was found to be 1296.53, 753.22, and 589.04 µg/ml in brain and 1137.08, 1079.65, and 11101.25 µg/ml in lung tissues, respectively. Further cytoprotective potency of the BME ameliorated the mitochondrial and plasma membrane damage induced by H2O2 as evidenced by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and lactate dehydrogenase leakage assays in both PC12 and L132 cells. H2O2 induced cellular, nuclear and mitochondrial membrane damage was restored by BME pre-treatment. H2O2 induced depleted antioxidant status was also replenished by BME pre-treatment. This was confirmed by spectrophotometric analysis, semi-quantitative RT-PCR and western blot studies. These results justify the traditional usage of BME based on its promising antioxidant and cytoprotective property.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Cytotechnology
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    • "BM is reported in several ancient Ayurvedic treatises in which it is recommended in formulations for the management of a wide range of mental conditions including anxiety, poor cognition and lack of concentration. Brahmi is currently recognized as being effective in the treatment of mental illnesses and epilepsy (Tripathi et al. 1996; Kishore and Singh 2005; Ernst 2006; Mathew et al. 2011). BM contains Alkaloids, Glycosides, Flavonoids and Saponins; however, saponins are considered to be the principal active constituents of the plant. "
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    ABSTRACT: The standardized extract of Bacopa monniera (BM) is a complex mixture of ingredients with a uniquely wide spectrum of neuropharmacological influences upon the central nervous system including enhanced learning and memory with known antioxidant potential and protection of the brain from oxidative damage. The present study demonstrates the therapeutic efficacy of BM on cognitive impairment and oxidative damage, induced by intracerebroventricular injection of streptozotocin (ICV-STZ) in rat models. Male Wistar rats were pre-treated with BM at a selected dose (30 mg/Kg) given orally for 2 weeks and then were injected bilaterally with ICV-STZ (3 mg/Kg), while sham operated rats were received the same volume of vehicle. Behavioral parameters were subsequently monitored 2 weeks after the surgery using the Morris water maze (MWM) navigation task then were sacrificed for biochemical, immunohistochemical (Cu/Zn-SOD) and histopathological assays. ICV-STZ-infused rats showed significant loss in learning and memory ability, which were significantly improved by BM supplementation. A significant increase in thiobarbituric acid reactive species and a significant decrease in reduced glutathione, antioxidant enzymes in the hippocampus were observed in ICV-STZ rats. Moreover, decrease in Cu/Zn-SOD expression positive cells were observed in the hippocampus of ICV-STZ rats. BM supplementation significantly ameliorated all alterations induced by ICV-STZ in rats. The data suggest that ICV-STZ might cause its neurotoxic effects via the production of free radicals. Our study demonstrates that BM is a powerful antioxidant which prevents cognitive impairment, oxidative damage, and morphological changes in the ICV-STZ-infused rats. Thus, BM may have therapeutic value for the treatment of cognitive impairment.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Metabolic Brain Disease
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