Blood Cortisol Level and Blood Serotonin Level in Depression Mice with Basil Leaf Essential Oil Treatment

Open Access Maced J Med Sci. 2019 Aug 25;7(16):2652-2655. doi: 10.3889/oamjms.2019.819. eCollection 2019 Aug 30.


Background: Depression is a serious public health problem. The impact of depression is enormous, ranging from decreasing work productivity, interpersonal disorders, sleep and eating disorders, susceptible to disease to an increase in suicides. In a state of depression, there was an increase in cortisol and changes in the neurotransmitter of the brain monoamine, norepinephrine and dopamine and specifically serotonin level. Treatment of depression using synthetic drugs such as the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) drug which is said to be safe turns out to still have side effects, such as stomach disorders, erectile disorders, weight gain and sometimes sleep disorders. So, the usage of traditional medicines can be an alternative. One of the traditional medicines that have been studied in Indonesia was the essential oil of basil leaves, which is known to function as an antidepressant at a dose of 2.5 x 10-2 mL/kg b.w.

Aim: To determine the comparison of cortisol and serotonin level between depressed mice which get basil leaf essential oil as intervention, depression mice, and normal mice.

Methods: This research was an experimental type purely using experimental animal models, with an experimental research design Post Test Only Context Group Design in mice (Mus musculus), by dividing 3 groups of mice, namely depressed mice which received essential oil of basil leaves dose of 2.5 x 10-2 mL/kg BW, depression mice, and normal mice, to compare the level of blood cortisol and serotonin while to determine effect of administration basil leaves essential oils in depression mice.

Results: Cortisol levels between intervened depression mice, depression mice, and normal mice groups were significantly comparable with p < 0.001, while serotonin level was significantly comparable between intervened depression mice, depression mice, and normal mice group with p < 0.001.

Conclusion: Evidenced by differences in cortisol levels, serotonin levels between normal mice groups, depressed mice and mice that received essential oils of basil leaves. The comparisons showed that the cortisol level of the intervened depression group was lower than the depression mice group; however the level didn't reach the level of cortisol in the normal group. While the serotonin level of intervened depression mice group was higher than the depression mice group or normal mice group.

Keywords: Basil Leaf; Cortisol; Depression; Essential Oil; Serotonin.