Herbal remedies in depression – state of the art.
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Specjalistyczna Praktyka Lekarska
Tomasz Szafrański   

Specjalistyczna Praktyka Lekarska, Rtm. Pileckiego 106/139, 02-781 Warszawa, Polska
Submission date: 2013-12-19
Final revision date: 2014-01-03
Acceptance date: 2014-01-03
Publication date: 2014-02-20
Psychiatr Pol 2014;48(1):59–73
Recent decades have seen development of research and an increased interest in the psychopharmacology of natural remedies. More than 20 herbal remedies have been identified that may potentially be applied in medicine as antidepressive, anxiety relieving or sleep-inducing agents. Patients often prefer to take herbal remedies and often take them on their own, without consulting a physician. The aim of the study is to present the state of the art concerning the use of natural remedies in the treatment of depression. The literature review was based on the review of Medline/Pubmed database. The study includes those phytomedicines for which pre-clinical in vitro and in vivo trials revealed a potential antidepressive effect and for which the clinical activity against the symptoms of depression was the subject of a clinical trial on humans. The emphasis was placed on randomized controlled trials (RCT). Following from a literature review, 7 herbal remedies for which preclinical and clinical trials suggest their antidepressive influence have been identified: hypericum, lavender, borage, roseroot, chamomile, saffron and ginseng. For two of these, i.e. hypericum and saffron extracts, antidepressive effect in subjects with mild or moderate depression has been confirmed in controlled randomized clinical trials.