Cecropia: A Useful Treatment for Mood Disorders?

weight lossCecropia is a group of tropical trees that is found throughout the tropic and is Native to America. The Cecropia group of trees has been shown to possess a number of pharmacological activities which includes antihypertensive, bronchodilator and antacid activity. However, the phytochemicals in some species of Cecropia, which included high amounts of flavonoids, may be beneficial at treating mood disorders. For example, Cecropia glaziovii is a Brazilian tree, extracts of which are used to treat mood disorders and have been shown to be effective in animal models of anxiety and depression. Another species of Cecropia, Cecropia pachystachya, has been shown to reverse the oxidative damage induced by ketamine administration to rats. The Cecropia pachystachya extract were able to achieve this because they decreased oxidative stress in the areas of the brain affected by the ketamine. Therefore the antioxidant content of Cecropia plants may play a pivotal role in the mood effects of the herb.

cecropia anxiety depression

A number of phytochemicals have been isolated from extracts of Cecropia glaziovii, including a high content of flavonoids. Flavonoids identified include procyanidins and catechins. However, no specific pharmacological action of these chemicals on mood disorders has been identified for this plant. That being said, it is known that flavonoids do have positive effects on mood disorders including an ability to modulate the benzodiazepine receptor. Flavonoids also have antioxidant effects that may be responsible for improving mental health. Image is Cecropia glaviovii. Image from: By Eurico Zimbres – Own work, Public Domain, https:// commons.wikimedia.org/ w/ index.php?curid=1260872.

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Tanae, M. M., Lima-Landman, M. T. R., De Lima, T. C. M., Souccar, C. and Lapa, A. J. 2007. Chemical standardization of the aqueous extract of Cecropia glaziovii Sneth endowed with antihypertensive, bronchodilator, antiacid secretion and antidepressant-like activities. Phytomedicine. 14(5): 309-313
Gazal, M., Kaufmann, F. N., Acosta, B. A., Oliveira, P. S., Valente, M. R., Ortmann, C. F., Sturbelle, R., Lencia, C. L., Stefanello, F. M., Kaster, M. P., Reginatto, F. H. and Ghisleni, G. 2015. Preventive effect of Cecropia pachystachya against ketamine-induced manic behavior and oxidative stress in rats. Neurochemical Research. 40(7): 1421-1430

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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