Roseroot herb may treat depressive disorders

A recent study has suggested that Roseroot herb could be a potential beneficial treatment option for the treatment of major depressive disorders.

ANI| Last Updated: Mar 27, 2015, 13:15 PM IST

Washington: A recent study has suggested that Roseroot herb could be a potential beneficial treatment option for the treatment of major depressive disorders.

According to a research conducted by Aassociate Professor Jun J. Mao, MD, MSCE, and colleagues at the Perelman School of Medicine of University of Pennsylvania, the study was the first randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, comparison trial of oral R. rosea extract versus the conventional antidepressant therapy sertraline for mild to moderate major depressive disorder.

In the study, 57 adult participants were enrolled, who suffered from two or more major depressive episodes like weight loss or gain, fatigue, insomnia, and recurrent thoughts of death. They were given standardized R. rosea extract, sertraline, or placebo for a period of 12 weeks.

Upon the completion of 12 weeks changes in their Hamilton Depression Rating (HAM-D), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and Clinical Global Impression (CGI) were measured and it was found that patients who took R. rosea had 1.4 times the odds of improvement, while those on sertraline had 1.9 times versus those on a placebo.

However, patients who took sertraline had experienced twice the side effects like nausea and sexual dysfunction as compared to those on R. rosea. It was 63 percent versus 30 percent, respectively. This suggested that R. rosea may possess a more favorable risk to benefit individuals with major depressive disorders.

Mao said the results indicated that herbal therapy may have the potential to treat patients with depression, who cannot tolerate conventional antidepressants due to side effects, but larger studies were needed to fully evaluate the benefit or harm of R. rosea as compared to conventional antidepressants.