Rose Hips As A Source of Vitamin C

Rose hips are berries that are produced by the rose hip tree, also called the rose haw or dog rose tree. The berries are nutritionally interesting because they have a very high content of vitamin C. In fact 100 grams of rose hips contains about 430 mg of vitamin C. Vitamin C is an important micronutrient required for a number of functions in humans. In particular vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, and in this role can protect cells from oxidative damage and is required for the synthesis of a number of chemicals including collagen and serotonin. Rose hips are often made into supplements to provide a convenient way of consuming vitamin C. Consuming vitamin C from a source such as rose hips may hold one main advantage compared to consuming the product as a synthetic powder or tablet, namely the presence of accessory nutrients along with the vitamin C. For example, rose hips also contain flavonoids, and these may be required for the correct metabolism of vitamin C in the body. 

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What Is The “Ash” Content of Food?

Certain foods, particularly animal feed, often refer to an ash content of the food. The ash content of the food refers to the inorganic portion of the food. Generally food is made up of organic and inorganic portions. The organic portions include protein, fat and carbohydrate. Because these are organic they can be burnt and release energy. This is ultimately happens to them if they are consumed. When the food is burned, the organic portion therefore disappears because it is combustible. However, the inorganic portion of the food remains. This comprises of the minerals within the food. The remains of the inorganic portion, following combustion of the organic portion is the ash. This can be weighed and a mass assigned. This mass is then added as the total ash content of the food packaging. High mineral content foods therefore have a high ash content. Consideration of the ash content can help scientists understand the nutritional content of the food and is often a consideration in food research. 

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Chaenomeles maulei As A Mood Elevating Herb

Chaenomeles is a group of plants belonging to the Rosaceae (rose) family of plants. The plants can be found growing naturally in Korea, China and Burma. In these countries, Chaenomeles plants are used in traditional medicine systems for a variety of ailments including the treatment of low mood and anxiety. The polyphenol content of the fruit of the plant is known to be high. One species of Chaenomeles, Chaenomeles maulei has been investigated for its mood elevating properties. In one study, fruit juice from Chaenomeles maulei was administered to rats before they were exposed to experimental stress. In comparison to control animals not given the fruit juice, the treatment animals exhibited reduced behavioural despair and increased social interaction. The study authors concluded that fruit juice from Chaenomeles maulei was effective at elevating the mood of the animals and that it may possess anxiolytic and antidepressant properties, perhaps because of the polyphenols it contains. 

Chaenomeles maulei anxiety depression

Chaenomeles plants may be effective against mood disorders such as anxiety and depression because of the phytochemicals they possess. In particular, the plants contain flavonoids of the flavan-3-ol subgroup. These plants may give extracts of the plant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that result in mood elevating effects. Image from: CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=369092.

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Borisova, V., Eftimov, M. and Valcheva-Kuzmanova, S. 2019. Assessment of Chaenomeles Maulei Fruit Juice Effects in Tests for Depression and Anxiety. Acta Medica Bulgarica. 46(1): 34-38
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Ruta graveolens (Common Rue)

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Ziziphus jujube as an Antidepressant

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Medicinal Terpenoids

Terpenoids are naturally occurring plant chemicals that comprise of isoprene units. These isoprene units can be constructed together in multiple ways giving rise to a diverse and large group of phytochemicals. Terpenoids include the sub-groups monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, diterpenes, sesterterpenes, tetraterpenes. Plants use terpenes in a wide range of different metabolic functions and they are bioavailable in animals and humans. In humans, some terpenes have medicinal effects and traditional herbal treatments for many conditions often terpenoids. Terpenoids may possess anti-inflammatory and anti-stress effects which may explain their usefulness in treating mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. Examples of terpenoids include the monoterpenes (carvone, geraniol, D-limonene, and perillyl alcohol), sesquiterpenes (farnesol), diterpenes (retinol and trans-retinoic acid), triterpenes (betulinic acid, lupeol, oleanolic acid, and ursolic acid) and tetraterpenes (α-carotene, β-carotene, lutein, and lycopene). 

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Kuete, V. 2014. Toxicological survey of African medicinal plants. Elsevier.
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Rosa Canina Flowers As a Treatment for Anxiety

Rosa canina is a flowering plant that belongs to the Rosaceae family. Common names for the plant include dog rose, rose hip or briar rose. The flowers on the plant are fragrant white or pink, and the plant produces fruits that are high in vitamin C. The flowers may possess anxiolytic effects and this has been investigated using animal models. Oral extracts of Rosa canina were administered to rats and the rats were then exposed to experimental stress. The results of the study showed that the plant extracts significantly reduced the anxious behaviour displayed by the rats. Evidence suggests that the flowers may have mood elevating effects because they contain high amounts of polyphenol antioxidants, particularly of the flavonoid class. These phytochemicals may have anti-inflammatory effects that improves brain function and protects neurones from the effects of stress. Rosa canina flowers may therefore have mood elevating effects that relate to the phytochemicals they contain. 

rosa canina anxiety depression mood

The petals of flowering plant often contain flavonoids, particularly of the anthocyanin subgroup. Anthocyanins are often responsible for the pink and purple colours of flowers.

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11062-015-9509-y

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Nemati, Z., Komaki, A., Shahidi, S. and Sarihi, A. 2015. Effect of a hydroalcoholic extract of Rosa Canina flowers on anxiety in rats. Neurophysiology. 47(2): 133-137
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Pulsatilla Plants as a Source of Phytochemicals

Pulastilla is a group of flowering plants that belong to the Ranunculaceae (buttercup) family. The genus contains about 70 species, and some of these are used medicinally. Some common species of Pulsatilla plants include Pulsatilla nemorosa, Pulsatilla patens, Pulsatilla vulgaris and Pulsatilla nigricans. Some evidence suggests that certain of these plants may possess mood elevating properties because of the phytochemicals they contain. A number of studies have investigated the chemical composition of the phytochemicals in Pulastilla plants and these have been reported. The main phytochemicals in Pulsatilla plants include triterpenoid saponins and flavonoids, both of which have been shown to positively affect mood and mental state. Over 20 different triterpenoid saponins have been isolated from Pulsatilla chinensis alone. The flavonoids present may include kaempferol and quercetin, that belong to the flavonol group of flavonoids. Triterpenoid saponins include pulsatilosides, lentenosides, caulosides and calcosides.  

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Goyal, S. and Kumar, S. 2011. Pharmacognostic standardization of Pulsatilla nigricans stoerck. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Science and Drug Research. 3(2): 158-161
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Pulsatilla nigricans: An Anti-Anxiety Herb

Pulsatilla nigricans is a flowering plant that belongs to the buttercup or Ranunculaceae family of plants. These plants can be found growing throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Pulsatilla nigricans is used in traditional medicine as a treatment for a number of conditions including  nervousness, sadness, mild restlessness and mental unrest. This suggests that the plant can modify central nervous system function and may possess mood elevating and sedative properties. The anti-anxiety effects of Pulsatilla nigricans has been investigated in experimental animal models. In one such study, mice were administered extracts of Pulsatilla nigricans and then exposed to experimental stress. The results showed that the plant extracts were significantly beneficial at reducing the anxious behaviour of the mice. When the extracts were analysed, polyphenols and tannins were both found in the samples, suggesting these phytochemicals may have been responsible for the effects. 

pulsatilla nigricans anxiety depression mood

Pulsatilla nigricans may possess mood elevating effect due to the phytochemicals it contains. These include polyphenols and tannins.

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Goyal, S. and Kumar, S. 2010. Anti-anxiety activity studies of various extracts of Pulsatilla nigricans Stoerck. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Science and Drug Research. 2(4): 291-293
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Anxiety and Depression as a Complex Disorder

Anxiety and depression are mood disorders that have complex aetiologies and complex progressions. Anxiety is defined as a feeling of unease. Depression is defined as a low mood. Both disorders can persist for a period of time, and have no obvious cause. One common misconception about anxiety and depression is that they are each a single disorder. In fact there are different types of anxiety and different types of depression and they can be caused by many different factors. The implication of this is that there is not a single treatment for anxiety and not a single treatment for depression. In fact the treatment for anxiety and depression may relate directly to the type of anxiety or depression that has developed, and how that came about. The treatment that can be effective also depends on the severity of the mood disorder and how long it has been present. Treating mood disorders is therefore difficult and a certain amount of trial and error with treatment protocols is often required.  

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