Achyranthes aspera grows throughout tropical regions of the world but is thought to be native to India. In India, locally the plant is called Apang. Traditional Indian medicine uses various parts of the plant for therapeutic purposes, and this may relate to the wide variety of phytochemicals the plant contains. Some of these chemicals have been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of mood disorders including depression. Studies have investigated the antidepressant effects of Achyranthes aspera in animals in order to establish if extracts of the plant could be used for antidepressant purposes. In mice, administration of extracts of Achyranthes aspera were shown to reduce helpless behaviour, which in animal models of behaviour is said to be indicative of antidepressant effects. These results are supported by other studies showing that Achyranthes aspera has significant anxiolytic effects in animal models. There available evidence supports a role for Achyranthes aspera in the treatment of mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.
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