Erythrina mulungu: Anxiety Treatment

weight lossErythrina mulungu is a species if tree that is native to Brazil. Erythrina mulungu is used in Brazilian traditional medicine as a sedative and calmative, suggesting it has particular central nervous system effects. A number of erythrina species of plant have been shown to possess anxiolytic effects in animals models of stress, suggesting that common phytochemicals within the trees are beneficial at elevating mood. For example, in one study, researchers investigated the effects of extracts of Erythrina mulungu on rats. Extracts of the tree were prepared by taking the complete the complete flower head including stems, stalks, bracts, and flowers (the inflorescence), and this was administered to rats prior to exposing them to stress in the form of a maze test. The results of the study showed that the Erythrina mulungu extracts were significantly effective at reducing anxious behaviour in the rats, in a manner similar to the reference drug, the benzodiazepine diazepam, suggesting they were potential anxiolytic agents.  

Erythrina mulungu anxiety

Erythrina mulungu contains the alkaloid erythravine, and this may be responsible for the anxiolytic effects of the herb. The image is of the Erythrina mulungu tree. Image from: By João Medeiros – Erythrina verna, CC BY 2.0, https:// w/ index.php?curid=10948412.

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Ribeiro, M. D., Onusic, G. M., Poltronieri, S. C. and Viana, M. B. 2006. Effect of Erythrina velutina and Erythrina mulungu in rats submitted to animal models of anxiety and depression. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research. 39(2): 263-270

About Robert Barrington

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