Review Article

Therapeutic Effects of Phytochemicals and Medicinal Herbs on Depression

Table 2

Medical herbs against depression.

HerbsDoseStudy designEffects and mechanismsReference

Camellia sinensis5, 10, and 20 mg/kgOral administration in miceDecrease immobility in the tail suspension test and forced swimming test
Modulate the HPA axis

Crocus sativus30 mg/dayRandomized controlled clinical trialsImprove the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression [7175]
100 mg/dayRandomized controlled clinical trialsImprove Beck Depression Inventory and Beck Anxiety Inventory Scores with rare side effects

Echium amoenum375 mg/dayRandomized controlled clinical trialsImprove the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression at week four of a study, however this result was not maintained at week six[80]

Hypericum perforatum3 × 300 mg/dayLong-term follow-up study involving 426 patientsPrevent relapse after recovery from acute depression[81]

Piper methysticum16 g containing 250 mg of kavalactones/dayRandomized controlled trialsImprove the Montgomery–Asberg Depression Rating Scale with no serious adverse effects and no clinical hepatotoxicity[82]

Rhodiola rosea 1.5–6 g/kgOral administration in ratsIncrease hippocampus 5-HT level-induced proliferation of neural stem cell, repairing the damaged neuronal cells in hippocampus[83]
10–20 mg/kgOral administration in ratsRevert decreased sucrose intake
Reduce moving behavior
Minimize weight gain and dysregulation of their estrous cycle
340–680 mg/dayRandomized controlled phase III clinical trialImprove overall depression, together with insomnia, emotional instability, and somatization, but not self-esteem with no serious side effects[85]

Lavandula angustifoliaLavender aromatherapyInhalation in ratsInhibit depression-like behaviors in forced swimming and elevated plus-maze tests
Reverse spatial memory deficits
Lavender creamRandomized controlled clinical trialsReduce stress, anxiety, and depression in pregnant women[87]
Lavender aromatherapyRandomized controlled clinical trialsReduce depressive symptoms
Improve the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale

Nelumbo nucifera4 g/kgOral administration in ratsReverse the decreased sucrose intake and the decreased 5-H receptor binding in brain[92]
2.1 g/kgOral administration in ratsIncrease struggling time and first latency time in the forced swimming test [93]
0–2000 mg/kg for rats
0–4000 mg/kg for beagle dogs
Oral administration in rats or beagle dogsImprove the start latency, rearing number, grooming time, and decreased visiting counts caused by chronic mild stress in the forced swimming test
No toxicity during 28 days of administration in dogs and 13 weeks of administration in rats