Depression is one of the most common mental disorder that affects millions of people across the world. Conventional antidepressants do not always prove to be effective. Even if at all they work, their efficacy declines quickly. Researchers have now found a natural way to manage depression. They found that oral administration of Roseroot herb could be a potential beneficial treatment option for major depressive disorders. The research conducted by Associate Professor Jun J. Mao, MD, MSCE, and colleagues at the Perelman School of Medicine of University of Pennsylvania, also showed that patients experienced lesser side effects when treated with roseroot herb as compared to conventional antidepressant therapy sertraline.
Researchers conducted the first randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, comparison trial of oral Rhodolia rosea
extract versus the conventional antidepressant therapy sertraline for mild to moderate major depressive disorder. The study comprised of 57 adult participants, who suffered from two or more major depressive episodes like weight loss or gain, fatigue, insomnia, and recurrent thoughts of death. The study participants were given standardized R. rosea
extract, sertraline, or placebo for a period of 12 weeks.
On completion of 12 weeks changes in their Hamilton Depression Rating (HAM-D), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and Clinical Global Impression (CGI) were measured and it was noted that patients who took R. rosea
had 1.4 times the odds of improvement, while those on sertraline had 1.9 times versus those on a placebo. But, patients who took sertraline had experienced twice the side effects like nausea and sexual dysfunction as compared to those on R. rosea
. It was 63% versus 30%, respectively. Thus, the findings suggested that R. rosea
may possess a more favorable risk to benefit individuals with major depressive disorders.
Mao said, "The results indicated that herbal therapy may have the potential to treat patients with depression, who cannot tolerate conventional antidepressants due to side effects, but larger studies were needed to fully evaluate the benefit or harm of R. rosea
as compared to conventional antidepressants."