Antidepressant activities of Sambucus ebulus and Sambucus nigra

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2014 Nov;18(22):3350-3.


Objective: Many pharmacological activities have been reported in Sambucus (S.) genus. The aim of present study was to investigate antidepressant activities of different parts of S. ebulus and S. nigra.

Materials and methods: Antidepressant activity of methanolic extracts were evaluated by forced swimming test (FST) and tail suspension tests (TST) in male Swiss albino mice.

Results: Extracts showed very good antidepressant activity in both FST and TST. They shortened remarkably the immobility period in both FST and TST and exhibited a dose dependent activity. Extracts in all tested doses showed significant activity as compared to control group (p<0.001). S. nigra showed better activity than S. ebulus. Its leaf extract at 1200 mg kg(-1) showed the same activity as imipramine in FST (p>0.05). Its fruit extract at 1200 mg kg(-1) showed far better activity than imipramine in FST (p<0.001). S. ebulus fruit extract in 1200 mg kg(-1) showed significant activity which was so better than imipramine at 10 mg kg(-1), in decreasing immobility period in TST (p<0.001). No mortality was observed after 48 hours at 3 g kg(-1).

Conclusions: Our report indicated the S. ebulus and S. nigra. extracts were safe and showed remarkable antidepressant activity in FST and TST in mice. These results introduced these plants as easily accessible source of natural antidepressant.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antidepressive Agents / isolation & purification
  • Antidepressive Agents / pharmacology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Hindlimb Suspension / adverse effects
  • Immobilization / psychology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Random Allocation
  • Sambucus nigra*
  • Swimming / psychology*


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Plant Extracts