Roseroot, an ancient herbal remedy, has been used for over 3.000 years in traditional European folk medicine. Associate professor Dr. Jun J. Mao at the Perelman School of Medicine (University of Pennsylvania) has conducted a new research which shows how this ancient herbal remedy can benefit people who suffer from depression. The results of the study were published in the journal Phytomedicine.
According to the research, people who cannot tolerate antidepressants because of the side effects which they cause can resort to roseroot (Rhodiola rosea). In traditional folk medicine this herb was used to increase work endurance, longevity and resistance to health conditions such as fatigue, depression and altitude.
Nowadays depression is one of the most commonly met subversive psychiatric conditions. It affects 19 million Americans, 70% of which do not properly respond to the initial therapy. This is because of the fact that the cost of conventional antidepressants is high and sometimes the side effects make patients interrupt its use. Therefore others prefer supplements and natural products instead.
57 adults enrolled in the study from December 2010 and April 2013. All of them experienced depressed moods, at least two major depressive episodes and sometimes loss of pleasure or interest in life activities for at least two weeks. The participants also went through insomnia or sleeping too much, unintentional loss or gain of weight, diminished capacity to think or concetrate, fatigue and thoughts of death.
The researchers compared the effect of roseroot extract on light to major depressive disorders with the effect of commonly presscribed antidepressant treatments. This was the first randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind comparison trial of this kind.
Over a period of 12 weeks the participants in the study received either roseroot extract, placebo or sertraline. The level of depression of the subjects was measured thoughout the period.
According to the results participants who took roseroot had 1.4 times chances of improvement, whereas those who were on setraline had 1.9 chances of improvement compared to the patients on placebo. However, this is not all. Participants who received sertraline had 63% chances of side effects, whereas those who were treated with roseroot only had 30%.
This was just a preliminary study, designed to provide efficacy and safety data needed to determine the sample sie estimates for a more reliable study. Jun Mao said that in order to fully evaluate the beneficial and harmful effects of roseroot extract compare to traditional antidepressants researchers need to conduct larger studies.
Image Source: Wilderness Dweller
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