Salvia elegans is a traditional Mexican herbal medicine that is often called mirto. Mexican traditional medicine utilises the leaves and flower of the plant for the treatment of central nervous system diseases. In this regard, extracts of the plant are used to treat anxiety, depression, insomnia and other anxiety and depression related disorders. Researchers have investigated the central nervous system effects of Salvia elegans on animals in order to verify the claims made for the plant in traditional medicine. In one study, researchers administered leaf and flower extract of Salvia elegans to mice and observed any behavioural changes. When the mice were exposed to experimental stress, the extracts of Salvia elegans were able to significantly attenuate the normal fearful and anxious reactions displayed by the mice. In addition, the extracts were significantly able to reduce the depressive behaviour displayed by the mice when exposed to a forced swim test. Therefore Salvia elegans shows anxiolytic and antidepressant effects in mice.
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