Rosemary Polyphenols As Antidepressants

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is an aromatic garden herb that is part of the Lamiaceae or mint family. These plants are characterised by the production of distinctive aromatic oils. A number of species within the mint family have been shown to confer neuroprotection in animals and humans, and evidence suggests this may relate to the presence of polyphenols within the plant tissues, including the oils, that are absorbed when the plants are consumed. Evidence suggests that rosemary possesses certain protective effects on mental health and these effects have been observed in animals models. For example, in one study, researchers administered the rosemary polyphenols luteolin, carnosic acid, and rosmarinic acid to significantly increase brain levels of tyrosine hydroxylase and pyruvate carboxylase, two enzymes responsible for the synthesis of serotonin, dopamine and GABA. In addition, the polyphenols were significantly able to protect the brains of the mice from stress induced toxicity.

rosemary depression anxiety

Cell culture studies suggest that active constituents within rosemary including luteolin, carnosic acid, and rosmarinic acid all have neuroprotective effects. This may explain the antidepressant effects of rosemary that have been observed in animals.

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Sasaki, K., El Omri, A., Kondo, S., Han, J. and Isoda, H. 2013. Rosmarinus officinalis polyphenols produce antidepressant like effect through monoaminergic and cholinergic functions modulation. Behavioural Brain Research. 238: 86-94

About Robert Barrington

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