Plantain may hold the key to treating depression naturally

Depression is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease, it being the leading cause of disability for many areas in the world. Despite its prevalence, scientists have yet to determine a cause for the condition. This lack of information has contributed to many patients seeking help in pharmaceutical modalities which are not known to be effective.

Hope may be found in natural medicine, particularly those focused on food and nutrition. These have been observed to reduce the levels of oxidative stress in the brain associated with the development of certain mental disorders like depression.

A study published in Pharmacognosy Research looked at the potential of the banana plant (Musa sapientum) in treating mice models of depression.

  • Thirty mice were equally divided into five groups, namely:
    • Vehicle (distilled water) at 10 mL/kg
    • Standard drug (fluoxetine) at 25 mg/kg
    • 25 mg/kg of banana plant extract
    • 50 mg/kg of banana plant extract
    • 100 mg/kg of banana plant extract
  • These doses were administered 45 minutes prior to the experiment which consisted of a forced swim test (FSD) and tail suspension test (TST).
  • Oxidative stress biomarkers were measured before and after these tests.
  • Results showed that stress biomarkers were remarkably reduced in groups that received the banana plant extract. These effects were noted to be dose-dependent.

It was concluded that banana plant extract may be used as a potential antidepressant due to its excellent ability to lower oxidative stress damage.

Read more articles on different foods that can treat depression at

Journal Reference:

Dubey A, Reddy A, Handu S, Mediratta P, Shukla R, Ahmed Q. EFFECT OF MUSA SAPIENTUM STEM EXTRACT ON ANIMAL MODELS OF DEPRESSION, Pharmacognosy Research. 23 August 2016;8(4):249–252. DOI: 10.4103/0974-8490.188876

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