|Spice extracts on carriers||12 %|
EGAA-4-trial with 14 people with light to middle depressions.
Assessment due to scaling according to Hamilton, with 24 questions. The mean improvement was 10.4 points. Only one person did not improve. 10 people were below 10 points (without depression), 4 persons had light depressions. Only 1 person was without any improvement.
Mechanism of action
The term “depression” is commonly used in the vernacular to describe a temporary depressed mood, when a person may feel sad or “down”. It is characterized by a lack of serotonin, dopamine, γ-amino butyric acid (GABA) and endorphins and high levels of monoamine oxidase (MAO) and glutamate in the brain. An important monoamine that lacks or is low is catecholamine. An immunological impact is discussed (Müller, Schwarz 2007) and a positive effect of COX-2 inhibitors could be demonstrated (Müller et al. 2006). The connection with the type of immune reaction (TH1 or TH2 modulated) may be via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA-axis).
According to Pall (Pall 2007; Zong et al. 2008) aetiology of some diseases like multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CSF), fibromyalgia and post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTS) (but perhaps also rheumatic diseases, inflammatory arteriosclerosis, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer and Parkinson disease) can be traced back to a vicious cycle. Starting with pesticides (chlororganic and organophosphorus compounds, pyrethroides) heavy metals, aluminium ions, organic solvents, mould, physical or psychic stress but also bacterial or viral infections at the end always NMDA-receptor is activated resulting in an influx of Ca++-ions into the cell. These calcium ions activate NF-к-B, starting an inflammatory reaction but also activate or induce the formation of iNOS (inducible nitric oxide synthase). iNOS produces NO (nitric oxide) that together with reactive oxygen species (ROS) forms peroxinitrite (ONOO-). Peroxinitrite inhibits respiratory chain in mitochondria (fatigue symptoms) and causes damages by lipid peroxidation. However it also activates NMDA-receptor. By this way a vicious cycle is established. By activating the degradation of serotonin and its precursor tryptophan by IDO (indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase) in microglia cells followed by kynurenin monooxygenase in major depression (Müller, Schwarz 2007) quinolic acid is formed, an agonist for the NMDA-receptor. By this way another vicious cycle can be established, the well-known black hole of depressive patients.
The effect of specific spices on moods is well known popular knowledge. In many trials for a lot of spices this had been tested, often in Asian countries, where spices have a much longer tradition than in Europe.
|Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans):
Nutmeg contains about 4 % myristic acid, which can be responsible to its antidepressant effect (Dhingra, Sharma 2006) (alone or in combination with other ingredients).
|Basil (Ocimium basilicum):
Basil contains ursolic acid that inhibits cyclooxygenase-2 transcription (Subbbaramaiah et al. 2000).
|Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris):
Five flavonoides of mugwort inhibit monoamino oxidase, resulting in an inhibition of dopamine degradation (Lee et al. 2006).
|Coriander seeds (Coriandrum sativum):
Coriander seeds inhibit the degradation of GABA (Emamghoreishi et al. 2005) resulting in an anxiolytic effect.
|Black Pepper (Piper nigrum):
Black pepper (or its active ingredient capsaicin) is known for its anticonvulsant effect (Abita et al. 1993) resulting from a fivefold increase of dopamine in the carotid body (McQueen, Mir 1984). It also inhibits NMDA-receptors.
|Saffron (Crocus sativus):
In a double-blind randomized trail saffron could show its effect as an antidepressant in mild and moderate depression (Shahin et al. 2008).
|Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum):
By cinnamaldehyde from cinnamon catecholamine concentration increases (Kinmura 1968; Harada et al. 1982) resulting in two effects. One effect is an inhibition of inflammatory reactions and the other one a decrease in nitric oxide production by iNOS.
Magnesium ions (Mg++) but not chelated magnesium acts as an antagonist to NMDA-receptor (Ebey, Ebey 2006; Sun et al. 2005).
|Mustard (Sinapis alba):
inhibits like onions by sinigrin and sinalbin the serotonin re-uptake (Sakakibara et al. 2008).