Roseroot may provide a herbal treatment option with minimal side effects for depression-related disorders, a new research has found. Depression has become a closely watched health ailment now, thanks to Bollywood actress deepika Padukone who dared to reveal about it and helped spreading awareness about it in India.
The findings published in the journal Phytomedicine suggest that those who cannot tolerate anti-depressants due to side effects can soon have an alternative in roseroot or Rhodiola rosea (R. rosea).
“These results are a bit preliminary but suggest that herbal therapy may have the potential to help patients with depression who cannot tolerate conventional anti-depressants due to side effects,” said lead researcher Jun Mao, associate professor at Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania.
“Larger studies will be needed to fully evaluate the benefit and harm of R. rosea as compared to conventional anti-depressants,” Mao added.
All of the study’s 57 adult participants, enrolled from December 2010 and April 2013, exhibited two or more major depressive episodes, depressed mood and/or loss of interest or pleasure in life activities for at least two weeks.
They also exhibited symptoms, including significant unintentional weight loss or gain, insomnia or sleeping too much, fatigue and diminished ability to think or concentrate, and recurrent thoughts of death.
The participants received 12 weeks of standardised R. rosea extract, an anti-depressant drug sertraline, or placebo.
Patients who took sertraline were somewhat more likely to report improvement in their symptoms by week 12 of treatment than those who took R. rosea, although these differences were not found to be statistically significant.
Patients taking R. rosea had 1.4 times the odds of improvement, and patients on sertraline had 1.9 times the odds of improvement versus those on a placebo.
However, patients on sertraline experienced twice the side effects — most commonly nausea and sexual dysfunction — than those on R. rosea: 63 percent versus 30 percent, respectively.
However, the chemical composition of the essential oil from R. rosea root growing in different countries varies. For instance, rosavin, rosarin and rosin at their highest concentration can be found only in R. rosea of Russian origin.
The main component of the essential oil from Rhodiola growing in Bulgaria are geraniol and myrtenol; in China the main components are geraniol and 1-octanol; and in India the main component isphenylethilic alcohol. Cinnamic alcohol was discovered only in the sample from Bulgaria.
(With inputs from IANS)