PHYTOMEDICINE, vol.3, no.2, pp.139-146, 1996 (SCI-Expanded)
Hypericum species have been used as herbal remedies for the therapy of various diseases since ancient times. It has been reported that Hypericum perforatum is a useful herbal remedy for the treatment of neurological disorders such as coxalgia, menopausal neurosis, headache, hydrophobia, hypersensitivity, mental aliments, neuralgia, paralysis, spastic paralysis, spinal convulsion, spinal irritation, stiff neck, tetanus, etc. On the basis of recent clinical studies, the extracts prepared from H. perforatum have been found to be effective for the treatment of mild and moderate depressions with no special side effects. In the present study, the effects of H. perforatum and H. calycinum on the central nervous system were investigated using various behavioural models including swimming time, locomotor activity, tail-flick and hole-board experiments. According to the results obtained, it was found that the extracts prepared from Hypericum perforatum and Hypericum calycinum are as effective as antidepressant drugs, desipramine and trimipramine, which were used for the comparison of their effects with these two plant extracts in animal models. The findings obtained also suggested that the antidepressant effect of Hypericum calycinum may be as potent as that of Hypericum perforatum and may be used for therapeutic purposes in depression.