Echium amoenum (Borage): Anxiolytic Herb

weight lossEchium amoenum is the borage plant. The plant is native to the region between the borders of Europe and The Middle East. The plant belongs to the Boraginaceae family of plants. In traditional medicine it has been historically known that extracts of the plant have a tranquilising effect on humans. A number of studies have investigated the effects of Echium amoenum on mood, mainly using animal models of stress. For example, in one study, researchers administered flower extracts of Echium amoenum to mice. The extracts were significantly effective at decreasing the anxious behaviour exhibited by the mice, and in this regard the effects were similar to the benzodiazepine drug diazepam. However, the researchers noted that the sedative effects of the herb were not as pronounced as for diazepam, indicating that the anxiolytic effects of the herb may not be accompanied by pronounced sedative effects. This study supports other studies that show that Echium amoenum is an effective anxiolytic agent.

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Studies on humans suggest that Echium amoenum (borage) has particular beneficial antioxidant effects in humans. One group of researchers administered flower extracts of Echium amoenum to healthy humans and assessed the antioxidant effects. Following administration of the herbal extracts, there was a significant reduction in the lipid peroxidation in the subject’s blood, and at the same time total thiol molecules, a marker for antioxidant status, increased significantly. The authors suggested that the antioxidant effects observed were due to the presence of rosmarinic acid and flavonoids in the flower extracts.

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Rabbani, M., Sajjadi, S. E., Vaseghi, G. and Jafarian, A. 2004. Anxiolytic effects of Echium amoenum on the elevated plus-maze model of anxiety in mice. Fitoterapia. 75(5): 457-464
Ranjbar, A., Khorami, S., Safarabadi, M., Shahmoradi, A., Malekirad, A. A., Vakilian, K., Mandegary, A. and Abdollahi, M. Antioxidant Activity of Iranian Echium amoenum Fisch & CA Mey Flower Decoction in Humans: A cross-sectional Before/After Clinical Trial. Evidence -Based Alternative and Complementary Medicine (ECAM). 3(4):469-473

About Robert Barrington

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