Rosemary found to exhibit powerful anti-anxiety effects

Anxiety is one of the most prevalent mental disorders in the world. Unfortunately, existing medications for it are associated with adverse side effects. Many patients suffering from anxiety now prefer alternative treatment methods, which include the use of herbal medicines. A group of researchers from Iran showed that hydroalcoholic extracts of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) have potential use as a natural remedy for anxiety. In this study, which was published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the researchers determined the herb’s anti-anxiety effects through an in vivo study involving mice.

  • Anxiety is a condition characterized by unexplainable feelings of fear and discomfort, which could affect a person’s way of living.
  • The World Health Organization estimates that more than 500 million people worldwide suffer from anxiety. This causes a huge burden on financial and human resources.
  • Conventional anti-anxiety medications cause side effects like nausea, vomiting, sexual dysfunction, insomnia, and drug dependency.
  • Rosemary, which is native to Mediterranean and Southern European countries, is commonly used for its pharmacological activities. These include killing microbes, reducing inflammation, preventing mutagenesis, neutralizing free radicals, increasing blood circulation, and lowering blood sugar levels.
  • Essential oils from this herb contain bioactive compounds like tricicline, 1,8-cineole, camphor, camphene, and bornyl acetate. Meanwhile, its hydromethanolic extracts contain different types of flavonoids.
  • In this study, the researchers collected hydroalcoholic extracts from the leaves and twigs of the rosemary plant and then administered this to the abdomen of the mice.
  • The authors conducted an elevated plus maze experiment to determine the anti-anxiety effects of rosemary.

Overall, the results of the study showed that the hydroalcoholic extract of rosemary has potent anti-anxiety effects, which are attributed to the presence of bioactive compounds like flavonoids.

Read the full text of the study at this link.

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Journal Reference:

Abadi MNA, Mortazavi M, Kalani N, Marzouni HZ, Kooti W, Ali-Akbari S. EFFECT OF HYDROALCOHOLIC EXTRACT OF ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS L. LEAF ON ANXIETY IN MICE. Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine. 6 April 2016. 21(4). DOI: 10.1177/2156587216642101

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