In a new clinical trial, patients with mild-to-moderate depression given rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) extract showed significant improvements in depression compared to those given placebo.The six-week trial was conducted on 89 subjects, aged 18 to 70, who were assessed with clinically significant depression according to two different standard measurements used in psychiatry: the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAMD).
Patients were given either 340 mg or 680 mg per day of rhodiola; or a placebo capsule.
Following treatment, both rhodiola groups experienced statistically significant declines in mean total HAMD scores as well as statistically significant declines in mean BDI scores. The subjects in the placebo group did not show statistically significant decreases in either scores.
The researchers reported other treatment benefits. At both dosage levels of rhodiola, people in the HAMD subgroups experienced improvements in insomnia, emotional instability, and levels of somatization (the conversion of anxiety into physical symptoms), while such measures did not significantly change in the placebo group. Also, the group given the higher dose of rhodiola experienced a statistically significant improvement in low self esteem, while the lower-dose group and the placebo group did not.
The authors concluded that extract demonstrates clear and significant anti-depressive activity in patients suffering from mild to moderate depression, evident from both overall depression levels as well as from specific symptom levels of depression. They further noted that no adverse effects could be detected in either of the groups given the rhodiola. Other benefits from the herb included emotional stability, better sleep and improvements in self esteem.
Source: American Botanical Council(ABC), Dec 19, 2007