Depression is a life-threatening chronic illness which affects people worldwide. Drugs used to treat this disease have multiple side effects and may cause drug-drug or drug-food interactions. Additionally, only 30% of patients respond adequately to the existing drugs and the remaining do not achieve complete recovery. Thus, finding effective treatments that have adequate efficacy, fewer side effects and lower cost seem to be necessary. The purpose of this study was to review animal and double-blind clinical studies on the anti-depressant effects of medicinal herbs. In this study, validated scientific articles indexed in PubMed, SID, Web of Science and Scopus databases were reviewed. A database search was performed using the following terms: clinical trials, depression, major depressive disorder, essential oil, extract and medicinal plant. Positive effects of a number of herbs and their active compounds such as St John’s-wort, saffron, turmeric, ginkgo, chamomile, valerian, Lavender, Echium amoenum and Rhodiola rosea L. in improvement of symptoms of mild, moderate or major depression have been shown in clinical trials. The above plants show antidepressant effects and have fewer side effects than synthetic drugs. Hence, they have the potential to treat patients with depression.
Keywords: Depression, Clinical trials, Medicinal plants, Herbal medicines
Implication for health policy/practice/research/medical education:
Medicinal plants have the potential to treat patients with depression.
Please cite this paper as: Setorki M. Medicinal herbs with anti-depressant effects. J Herbmed Pharmacol. 2020;9(4):309-317. doi: 10.34172/jhp.2020.39.