Velvet bean shows potent anti-depressive properties

Monday, September 24, 2018 by

Depression is the most common non-motor symptom associated with Parkinson’s disease. Current treatment methods using pharmaceutical drugs for either disorder show lackluster (at best) to negligible (at worst) results. Researchers are constantly looking for safe and natural remedies that can alleviate symptoms of both illnesses. Their evaluation of popular folkloric plant, velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens), suggests its use in reducing depression symptoms associated with parkinsonism.

  • Eleven groups of six Swiss mice each of either sex were observed for 14 days:
    – Group 1 was treated with 10 ml/kg of normal saline (control)
    – Group 2 was treated with 10 ml/kg of normal saline (model control)
    – Group 3 was treated with 100 mg/kg of isolated levodopa (one of the main drugs to treat Parkinson’s symptoms)
    – Group 4 was treated with 200 mg/kg of isolated levodopa
    – Group 5 was treated with 200 mg/kg of the amino acid fraction of velvet bean
    – Group 6 was treated with 400 mg/kg of the amino acid fraction of velvet bean
    – Group 7 was treated with 200 mg/kg of the alkaloid fraction of velvet bean
    – Group 8 was treated with 400 mg/kg of the alkaloid fraction of velvet bean
    – Group 9 was treated with 10 ml/kg with normal saline for 14 days and 20 mg/kg of Fluoxetine (an antidepressant), 30 minutes after the last dose of normal saline
    – Group 10 was treated with 10 ml/kg of normal saline for 14 days and 1 mg/kg of Reboxetine (an antidepressant), 30 minutes after the last dose of normal saline
    – Group 11 was treated with 10 ml/kg of normal saline for 14 days and 2 mg/kg of Bromocriptine (used to lessen symptoms of Parkinson’s), 30 minutes after the last dose of normal saline
  • The levels of dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin were assessed.
  • Mice were investigated in the catalepsy test, forced swim test, rotarod test, and locomotor activity test after being challenged with haloperidol (an antipsychotic medication that can induce catalepsy when taken in large doses)

It was found that velvet bean, either as an amino acid fraction or as an alkaloid fraction improved neurotransmitter levels better than both the antidepressants and the medications used to treat Parkinson’s.

These results were published in Herbal Medicine: Open Access.

Read the full text of the study at this link.

Learn more about the benefits of the velvet bean at Healing.news.

Journal Reference:

Varsha G, Hetal T. EVALUATION OF EFFECTIVENESS OF BIOACTIVE PRINCIPLES OF MUCUNA PRURIENS SEEDS USING EXPERIMENTAL MODELS OF DEPRESSION ASSOCIATED WITH PARKINSONISM AND ASSOCIATED NEUROTRANSMITTER TURNOVER. Herbal Medicine: Open Access. 7 September 2016;2(3). DOI: 10.21767/2472-0151.100017



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