Natural products of relevance in the prevention and supportive treatment of depression

Psychiatr Pol. 2015 May-Jun;49(3):435-53. doi: 10.12740/PP/29367.
[Article in English, Polish]


The use of herbs or their parts: leaves, roots, rhizomes, flowers, seeds, natural strains, as well as extracts or isolated metabolites is becoming more and more popular. Natural remedies not only act prophylactically, but also help to alleviate symptoms of many diseases and enhance the overall functioning of the internal organs. Many raw materials of natural origin plays a role in treatment of health problems, and also in case of serious diseases such as depression. Depression (affective disorder) now affects about 10% of the population, but in next few years due to the development of civilization and increasing pace of life, the probable number of people suffering from this disease can grow rapidly. Natural raw materials such as Bacopa monnieri, Crocus sativus, Eleutherococcus senticosus, Griffonia simplicifolia, Hypericum perforatum, Sceletium tortuosum, Piper methysticum, Rhodiola rosea, Aspalathus linearis, Camellia sinensis, Ficus carica, Lycium chinense, Cuminum cyminum, Panax Ginseng can effectively assist the prevention and treatment of depression. Daily diet may also have positive effect in prevention of this disease. It was found that 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan, L-tryptophan (which are precursors of serotonin in the CNS), omega-3 fatty acids and anthranilic acid (vitamin L1) are able to improve mood. L-Tryptophan, 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan are present in the largest quantities in the fruiting bodies of edible mushrooms. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in the flesh of fish, walnuts, soybeans, beans and chicken egg protein, while the anthranilic acid is commonly found in plants.

Keywords: 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan; Plants and mushrooms in prevention of depression; anthranilic acid.

MeSH terms

  • 5-Hydroxytryptophan / chemistry
  • 5-Hydroxytryptophan / therapeutic use
  • Antidepressive Agents / chemistry
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Crocus / chemistry
  • Depression / drug therapy
  • Depression / prevention & control*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / chemistry
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hypericum / chemistry
  • Mood Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Panax / chemistry
  • Phytotherapy / methods*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Preparations / chemistry
  • Plant Preparations / therapeutic use*
  • Rhodiola / chemistry
  • ortho-Aminobenzoates / chemistry
  • ortho-Aminobenzoates / therapeutic use


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Plant Extracts
  • Plant Preparations
  • ortho-Aminobenzoates
  • anthranilic acid
  • Preparation K
  • 5-Hydroxytryptophan