Salvadora persica Against Depression

Salvadora persica (miswak) is commonly called the mustard tree or toothbrush tree (on account of the twigs of the tree being used traditionally to clean the teeth). Phytochemicals within miswak include alkaloids, flavonoids and plant steroids, which may confer medicinal effects. That miswak has central nervous system effects is evidenced by its traditional use to treat mood disorders including depression. Animal studies have confirmed that miswak may have mood elevating effects. For example, in one study researchers administered extracts of miswak orally to rats for 28 days before subjecting them to experimental stress. The results of the study showed that the rats administered miswak extracts showed significantly less depressive-like behaviour compared to control rats. In addition, the miswak was able to significantly lower blood glucose levels and DNA fragmentation in the rats, suggesting a reduced effect of stress hormones. Therefore miswak may have significant antidepressant effects in animals. 

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Ramadan, K. S., Farid, H. E. and Almarashi, R. M. 2016. Antidepressant-like effects of aqueous extract of Salvadora persica in rat model of depression. Journal of Diabetes and Metabolism.  7(8): 697

About Robert Barrington

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