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A preliminary randomized double blind clinical trial on the efficacy of aqueous extract of Echium amoenum in the treatment of mild to moderate major depression

Abstract
Background
Based on a traditional belief, Echium amoenum (Boraginaceae) dried flowers are used in Iran as an anxiolytic remedy and also as a mood enhancer. In this study, efficacy of an aqueous extract of E. amoenum in patients with mild to moderate major depressive disorder (a score ≥ 18 on the Hamilton depression rating scale) was evaluated.

Results
In week 4, the extract showed a significant superiority over placebo in reducing depressive symptoms. The effect on anxiety was not significant. Headache, somnolence, vomiting, dry mouth, constipation and blurred vision are the most commonly reported side effects. However, with regards to these side effects, no significant difference between placebo and drug treated groups was observed.
Limitations
This study is performed with a small sample size, only with one dose and for 6 weeks.
Conclusion
E. amoenum aqueous extract may have some antidepressant activity.

 
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