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Stress, zie ook Depressie

Neurovegetatieve Dystonie: Stress en Depressie / fytoschema uit opleiding herborist 'Dodonaeus'

Een ontregeling van het vegetatieve, autonome zenuwstelsel (sympaticus - parasympaticus) door een disharmonie tussen ik en buitenwereld (draagkracht - draaglast).
De spankracht in de mens, zowel lichamelijk als geestelijk is verstoord.
Overspanning (= stress) - Spanning (= kracht, tonus) - Onderspanning (= depressie)

Algemene aanpak
-Het ‘ik’ versterken door psychologische technieken (meditatie, positief denken, psychotherapie, zinvol werk) maar ook door voeding en beweging (ritme).
- de invloed van de buitenwereld veranderen door het verminderen van de indrukken (rust), het vat krijgen op de omgeving.

Fytotherapie
Evenwicht herstellen tussen sympaticus en parasympaticus, tussen overspanning en onderspanning.

1. Overspanning (stress) vooral tegengaan door het gebruik van kalmerende planten (sedativa)
Valeriana officinalis: basismiddel vooral bij slapeloosheid
Panax ginseng: adaptogeen of andere adaptogenen
+ Humulus lupulus: bij sexuele overprikkeling en in de menopauze
+ Passiflora incarnata: bij prikkelbaarheid en verwarrende gevoelens
+ Eschscholtzia californica: ook voor kinderen, bij slapeloosheid
+ Melissa officinalis: bij vegetatieve maagproblemen, ritmestoornissen en verdriet
+ Lavandula vera: uitwendig als etherische olie op plexus solaris, harmoniserend
+ Tilia 1D: gemmomiddel bij slapeloosheid
+ Matricaria recutita
+ Galium odoratum

2. Onderspanning (depressie) tegengaan door het gebruik van zenuwversterkende planten.
Hypericum perforatum: basismiddel
+ Lavandula vera
+ Melissa officinalis
+ Trigonella foenum-graecum: bij gebrek aan eetlust (anorexia), spierzwakte
+ Panax ginseng: bij vermoeidheid, voor ouderen, de wereld niet aankunnen
+ Eleutherococcus senticosus: bij vermoeidheid door lichamelijke overbelasting
+ Piper methysticum (Kava): bij angst
+ Avena sativa (Haver): bij uitputting en verslaving (roken, cafeine)
+ Rosmarinus officinalis
+ Thymus officinalis
+ Ribes nigrum 1D: gemmomiddel, personengevoelig voor koude, werkt op bijnieren

Andere kruiden met invloed op het zenuwstelsel:
Angelica archangelica (Engelwortel), Ballota foetida (Stinkende ballote), Cannabis sativa (Hennep), Citrus aurantium (Bittere appelsien), Coriandrum sativum (Koriander), Ocimum basilicum (Basilicum), Scutellaria lateriflora (Amerikaans glidkruid)

Aromatherapie.
- Angelica archangelica: angst, slapeloosheid met darmkramp*
- Artemisia dracunculus: spasmofilie, hik
- Chamaemelum nobile: kalmerend op centraal zenuwstelsel
- Cistus ladaniferus: neurovegetatieve dystonie (invloed op parasympaticus)**
- Citrus aurantium (Petitgrain): neurovegetatieve dystonie
- Citrus aurantium ssp. bergamia: slapeloosheid, depressie
- Cymbopogon citratus: sedativum, bij neurovegetatieve dystonie
- Foeniculum vulgare: gevolgen van spanning op de darmen (kramp, gasvorming...)
- Lavandula angustifolia: nervositeit, plexus solarisspasmen, angst**
- Lippia citriodora: zeer goed bij sommige depressies, sedativum
- Ocimum basilicum: sympaticomimetisch, managerziekte, darmkoliek en colitis
- Origanum majorana: goed parasympaticotonisch (hypotensief, kalmerend, anafrodisiacum)
- Picea mariana: cortison-like, asthenie, uitputting, plexus solarisspasmen
- Pinus sylvestris: cortison-like, asthenie
- Thymus vulgaris ‘thujanol’: asthenie

Oligotherapie.
- Onderspanning (Psychasthenie, Depressie): Cu-Au-Ag (asthenie), Mg-Co (vegetatief, overgang)
- Overspanning (stress): Lithium en Magnesium

Voeding.
Voeding rijk aan kalium (groenten) en arm aan natrium (zout, vlees)
Magnesium (bij kramp) vooral fruit (banaan)
Vitaminen vooral B (volkoren, tarwekiemen, biergist, noten)
Kruidenthee (linde, kamille, verveine, oranjebloesem) en cichorei in plaats van koffie
In beperkte mate bier met hop en Maitrank (bedstrowijn)

Leefwijze.
Een evenwichtige afwisseling tussen activiteit (dag) en rust (nacht) is elementair. Je leven ritmisch in delen.
Beweging, stevige wandeling (30’ met hartslag van 110) heeft positief effect bij slapeloosheid. Beweging is een stressreducer (spierontspannend, licht euforiserend, met invloed op de celstofwisseling)

Literatuur.
- Verheyen M. - Stop Stress, een nieuwe kijk op stress en nervositeit. Kosmos 1997.
- Huibers J. - Kalm door kruiden. Anker 1976
- Huibers J. - Overwin angst en vrees. Anker 1977.
- Huibers J. - Kalmerende kracht van kruiden.Kosmos 1995.
- Diekstra R. - Het geestige lichaam. 1995.
- Bohmig U. - Slapeloosheid, Stress en Nervositeit. Strengholt 1985.
- Wolfers I. - Slaapklachten en spanning. Contact 1989.
- Bratman & Kroll - St.Janskruid, de behandeling van depressies. Elmar 1999.
- Schulz ea. - Klinische studien mit phytopharmaca. Ztschr.Phytoth. 18, 1997.
- Kava, an overview. HerbalGram 39.
- Weber&Winter - Kava-Kava, ein planzliches Anxiolyticum. Fundamenta Psych. 8, 1994.
- Ross & Hayes - Exercise and psychological well-being in the community. Epidem.127 



Vegetatief zenuwstelsel / Vegetatief (symphaticus / parasymphaticus) evenwicht

overspanning                                                spanning                                onderspanning

hypertoon                                                     tonus                                      hypotoon

                                                                     spankracht

                                                                     (evenwicht)

yang                                                                                                             yin                                                          

                                                           vegetatief zenuwstelsel

                                                           hypothalamus / hypofyse

(ortho)symphaticus                                                                                   parasympathicus (nervus vagus)

= gaspedaal                                                                                              = rem

                                               werkstoffen in lichaam / neurotransmitters

adrenaline / noradrenaline                                                                       acetylcholine

(stresshormonen, catecholaminen)

veroorzaakt vlucht / vechtreactie                                                            veroorzaakt relaxatiereactie                                                                                      

stimulans actie-organen:                                                                        stimulans opbouw-organen:

hart, bloedvaten, longen                                                                        spijsvertering, maag, darm                                                                                        

catabool (verbruik, verbranding)                                                            anabool (opbouw) 


stimulantia                                            adaptogenen / tonica                       sedativa - hypnotica

 

ephedra<        koffie <rozemarijn<  <sintjanskruid/ lavendel >               valeriaan> papaver>  opium

kat                   <tijm, bonekruid         <ginseng        melisse >                hop >  passiflora > hennep

cola <  tabak? guarana                     <fenegriek      haver >                   echte kamille, majoraan

amfetamines                                      <eleutherococcus >     

         geur / smaak?

opwekkende geuren                                                                          kalmerende geuren

fris, citroenachtig, scherp, licht, vluchtig                                            zwaar, muf, tropisch, zweetachtig 

scherp      < zout              <zuur                < bitter >                          zoet >


Natural products promoted for the prevention and treatment of chronic. 

A Google search using the terms "natural products for stress" results in more than 26 million hits. Using the search terms "supplements for stress" results in more than 40 million hits. Additionally, a search on Amazon. com for "stress supplements" reveals more than 1350 different products that could be used for the prevention and management of stress, most of which were herbal products.

Stress prevention and management strategies that are recommended by many medical professionals are centered on coping techniques. These can include exercise, meditation, controlled breathing, yoga, tai chi, journaling, verbal expressions of feelings, participation in enjoyable activities, and many more. Additionally, many patients are prescribed medications to lower anxiety and thus manage stress. Firstline agents used for generalized anxiety and panic disorders include duloxetine, escitalopram, paroxetine, venlafaxine XR, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.[1] Scientific evidence supporting this use of herbal supplements for stress is limited. Very few products have been studied with adequate scientific rigor that can help guide health care professionals when counseling patients. The purpose of this article is to briefly review the available data published on a few of the popular herbal supplements that are marketed to help manage or reduce stress.

Kava Kava / Piper methysticum
Kava kava, derived from the kava plant, was historically used among Pacific Island cultures as a relaxing beverage.[2] More recently, Western countries have used kava as a dietary supplement for its sedative and anxiolytic properties.[2] Several studies have been conducted on kava to measure its effectiveness on lowering anxiety.[2] Meta-analyses of these studies have concluded that kava significantly lowers anxiety as measured with tools such as the Hamilton Anxiety Scale.[2] 

Passionflower
Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is a plant that can be found in southeastern United States as well as in Argentina and Brazil. It is marketed in the United States as a dietary supplement effective for sleep disorders, nervous tension, and anxiety and is available in powder, capsule, tablet, and liquid dosage forms.[2] Passionflower has shown positive results for decreasing anxiety when tested in mice; however, only one clinical trial in humans has been published.[2] A randomized, placebo-controlled study released in 2001 examined passionflower (45 liquid drops per day) versus oxazepam (30 mg/d) in patients diagnosed with general anxiety disorder.[2] The results showed that passionflower was equally effective in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder compared with oxazepam (P values for both groups <.001).[2] More research on the safety and effectiveness of passionflower is needed. Interestingly, in the early 1990s, Germany's Federal Health Agency approved the use of passionflower for nervous restlessness.[2]

Valerian Root / Valeriana officinalis
Valerian root comes from a perennial plant and is used as a dietary supplement for the treatment of anxiety and as a sedative hypnotic to treat insomnia.[2] A study published in 1988 examined the use of valerian and propranolol on their effectiveness at reducing stress when healthy volunteers were placed in stressful social conditions. The authors concluded that valerian alone and in combination with propranolol may reduce stress in healthy volunteers.[2] In another study, a valerian plus St. John's Wart combination product was compared with diazepam in 100 randomized subjects with anxiety for 2 weeks.[2] Baseline anxiety scores were similar between the 2 groups. The results showed that the combination dietary supplement decreased anxiety symptoms statistically more than the diazepam group (P = .002), and the dietary supplement group reported statistically greater relief from anxiety symptoms compared with the diazepam group (P = .007).[2] Other studies, however, have been unable to show that valerian improves symptoms in patient diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder.[3] Therefore, there is insufficient evidence at this time to judge the effectiveness of valerian at reducing stress or controlling anxiety. However, valerian is considered safe if used appropriately and for short-term periods (<1 month).[3]

St. John's Wort / Hypericum perforatum
St. John's Wort is most commonly used as a dietary supplement for the treatment of mild to moderate depression. However, one study did compare St. John's Wart 300 mg daily versus placebo for the treatment of social anxiety disorder.[2] A total of 40 patients diagnosed with social anxiety disorder were randomized to one of the two groups for a 2-week trial. The results showed that both groups significantly improved their anxiety levels as measured by the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale and the between-group difference was not statistically significant (P = .27).[2] Conclusions regarding this study, however, are limited because of poor research design.

Lemon Balm / Melissa officinalis
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) has been shown to be potentially effective for disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, colic, dyspepsia, herpes labialis (cold sores), and sleep.[3] In addition, a few small studies have been conducted to measure the effectiveness of lemon balm to induce self-reported calmness and improve mood. In one study, a dose of 1600 mg of dried lemon balm was associated with increased selfreported calmness for up to 6 hours after ingestion.[4] Another study showed selfreported calmness increased after 1 hour with a dose of 300 mg of lemon balm.[5] In 2004, a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, balanced crossover designed study measured lemon balm on its effect to improve mood.[6] The results showed that 600 mg of lemon balm was effective at ameliorating the negative mood effects of a 20-minute tasked designed to increase stress. This study also demonstrated an improvement in self-reported calmness.[6] Based on these limited studies, lemon balm appears to have a positive effect in stress. Additionally, the adverse effects reported from using lemon balm appear to the low.

References
  1. Kirkwood CK, Melton ST. Anxiety disorder I: generalized anxiety, panic and social anxiety. In: Dipiro JT, ed. Pharmacotherapy: A Pathophysiologic Approach. 7th ed. New York, NY: McGraw Hill; 2008:1161–1178.
  2. Kinrys G, Coleman E, Rothstein BA. Natural remedies for anxiety disorders: potential use and clinical applications. Depress Anxiety. 2009;26:259–265.
  3. Natural Medicine Comprehensive Database Web site. http://naturaldatabase. therapeuticresearch.com. Accessed July 1, 2011.
  4. Kennedy DO, Wake G, Savelev S, et al. Modulation of mood and cognitive performance following acute administration of single doses of Melissa officinalis (lemon balm) with human CNS nicotinic and muscarinic receptor-binding properties. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2003;28:1871–1881.
  5. Kennedy DO, Scholey AB, Tildesley NT, Perry EK, Wesnes KA. Modulation of mood and cognitive performance following acute administration of Melissa officinalis (lemon balm). Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2002;72:953–964.
  6. Kennedy DO, Little W, Scholey AB. Attenuation of laboratory induced stress in humans following acute administration of Melissa officinalis (lemon balm). Psychosom Med. 2004;66:607–613.
  • Phytother Res. 2001 Sep;15(6):549-51.Kava and valerian in the treatment of stress-induced insomnia.Wheatley D. Kava and valerian are herbal remedies, claimed to have anxiolytic and sedative properties respectively, without dependence potential or any appreciable side-effects. In this pilot study, 24 patients suffering from stress-induced insomnia were treated for 6 weeks with kava 120 mg daily. This was followed by 2 weeks off treatment and then, 5 having dropped out, 19 received valerian 600 mg daily for another 6 weeks. Stress was measured in three areas: social, personal and life-events; insomnia in three areas also: time to fall asleep, hours slept and waking mood. Total stress severity was significantly relieved by both compounds (p < 0.01) with no significant differences between them; as was also insomnia (p < 0.01). The proportion of patients with no side-effects was 58% with each drug respectively and the 'commonest' effect was vivid dreams with valerian (16%), followed by dizziness with kava (12% ). These compounds may be useful in the treatment of stress and insomnia but further studies are required to determine their relative roles for such indications.


Indeling medicijnen voor stress en depressie: Psychofarmaca
De psychofarmaca zijn geneesmiddelen met een eigenschap waarvan de actie specifiek gericht is op de hersenactiviteit.
Men onderscheidt gewoonlijk 3 categorieën:
- de psycholeptica die de geestesactiviteit “drukken” en waarvan de slaapmiddelen* en de antipsychotica** deel uitmaken;
- de psychoanaleptica die de geestesactiviteit kunnen “opwekken” bij geestesstoornissen en waaronder men onderscheidt:
o de psychostimulantia (of noo-analeptica ) zoals amfetamines of Rilatine gebruikt bij ADHD (aandachts- en concentratiestoornissen bij het kind);
o en de thymo-analeptica die men ook antidepressiva noemt en die het in theorie mogelijk maken om destemming te regulariseren of te normaliseren (Prozac, Serlain, Trazolan, Efexor, Sipralexa…);
- de psychodysleptica (of “hallucinogenen”).

* De slaapmiddelen (ook hypnotica genoemd) die het meest gebruikt worden zijn die van de klasse van de benzodiazepines (Xanex, Lexotan, Valium, enz.).
** De neuroleptica, ook antipsychotica genoemd, zoals Risperdal, Seroquel, Ziprexa, enz., zijn geneesmiddelen die gebruikt worden bij het behandelen van psychoses. In psychiatrische termen komt de psychose overeen met wat men gemeenzaam waanzin noemt. Dit omvat onder meer parafrenie (gekenmerkt door chronische waanbeelden maar niet samengaand met geestesstoornissen) en schizofrenie (gekenmerkt door het uiteenvallen van de geestelijke en mentale functies, samen met het contactverlies met de realiteit en zich afsluiten van de buitenwereld).
De antidementiemedicatie (ernstige verslechtering van het psychisme van een individu, gekenmerkt door een progressieve en onomkeerbare vermindering van de intellectuele en geestelijke vermogens – de meest voorkomende is de ziekte van Alzheimer) zoals Reminyl en Aricept is geklasseerd bij de neurotrope geneesmiddelen (die zich op het zenuwstelsel richten)



Minder bekende planten bij stress

Jatamansi
(Nardostachys jatamansi DC.)
Jatamansi is een Indische plant, waarvan de wortel gebruikt wordt voor zijn medicinale eigenschappen. Dit aromatische kruid is voornamelijk afkomstig van Noord-India en China. Vooral in de Ayurveda, een zeer oude Indiase geneeskunde, wordt jatamansi gebruikt bij innerlijke onrust en bij zwakke zenuwen. 
De jatamansi-wortel is rijk aan essentiële olie en bevat o.a. jatamanson, een rustgevende en kalmerende inhoudsstof. 
Jatamansi is een bijzonder goed kalmeringsmiddel, nuttig bij stress en opgejaagdheid. Jatamansi is een plant van het “goed gevoel”, want het stimuleert de werking van neurotransmitters: dit zijn molecules die een belangrijke rol spelen bij de signaaloverdracht (elektrische prikkels) tussen zenuwcellen in on zenuwstelsel. Na inname van jatamansi-kruid stijgen de gehaltes van serotonine, de neurotransmitter van het gemoed en van acetylcholine, de neurotransmitter van het geheugen (in het brein). Zo zien we dat jatamansi de geestelijke vermogens verbetert, en toch rustgevend is. Jatamansi kan je gebruiken bij stresssituaties met zenuwachtigheid, angst en verwardheid. Als kalmeermiddel kan jatamansi dus zonder enig gevaar overdag genomen worden: je gaat je niet suf voelen, maar wel een gevoel van rust en ontspanning ervaren. Kortom, je gaat mentaal beter functioneren in onze stresserende maatschappij.
 
Ballote
(Ballota nigra L.)
Een gestresseerd beroep of leven in stress in bepaalde omstandigheden of gebeurtenissen komt zéér veel voor en is steeds complex: er is de zenuwachtigheid en de spanning, maar ook de verwardheid. 
De voortdurende afwisseling van uitputting en opvliegendheid, die zo typisch is voor gestresseerde mensen, kan behandeld worden door stinkende ballote. 
Ballote met zijn mooie purperen bloemen, was reeds door Dioscorides gekend (eerste eeuw na Christus). Dit plantje is vooral nuttig bij stress en spanningstoestanden.
Nieuw onderzoek prijst stinkende ballote aan bij agressie, agitatie, rusteloosheid en vijandigheid.
Ballote is in zijn complexiteit van de verschillende inhoudsstoffen (synergie), aangewezen bij zenuwachtigheid, stress en ophitsing; het is een sterk kalmerend middel. Ook bij misselijkheid en braakneigingen door stress, wordt deze plant gebruikt. 
Het heeft geen enkele toxiciteit, ook voor kinderen en ouderlingen is het kruid geschikt, wegens het ontbreken van nevenwerkingen of verslaving.
 


Stress and Hypericum perforatum
    Stress is a crucial determinant for maintenance of health and disease [1,2]. Stress either due to internal or external stimuli disturbs physiological homeostasis and causes neurobehavioral alteration [3,4]. There are various neuropsychiatric problems such as anxiety, cognitive dysfunction, depression etc, are generally associated with stress. Stress induces changes in emotional behavior, anxiety like state [5] that are associated with oxidative damage i.e. free radical damage [1,2]. Acute restraint stress stimulates numerous cellular cascade that lead to increase ROS production [6,7]. The central nervous system is especially vulnerable to free radical damage because of brain's high oxygen consumption, abundant lipid content and relative paucity of antioxidant enzymes [8]. Immobilization stress has also been reported to induce 2-3 fold higher rise of plasma cortisol level. Increase cortisol level has been linked with anxiety like behavior [9]. It has been reported that stress triggers the motor alteration in different animal models [10]. Previous studies have also demonstrated that various chronic stress triggers hyperalgesia and allodynia [10,11]. Recent studies demonstrated that restraint stress produces antinociception which is relevant to numerous painful pathologies, such as fibromyalgia (FM), characterized by diffuse muscular pain (hyperalgesia) and/or tenderness (allodynia). This contention supported by the findings that restraint stress increases pain threshold in hot-plate test [13]. The central nucleus of amygdala (CeA) is important in fear conditioning and in modulating affective response to stress [14-17].
        St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is well known antidepressant herbal remedy contains hypericin, pseudohypericin, hyperforin, quercitine and quercitrin as one of the major active constituents [18]. SJW is widely used in the treatment of depression in many countries and represented as an accepted alternative to synthetic antidepressants or behavioral therapy, particularly for mild to moderate depression [19-22]. Recently, antidepressants have been reported to have neuroprotective effect and antioxidant like effect against immobilization stress [45]. However, their exact status in stressful conditions is still not clear so far.

        The ability of the biological system to cope stressful condition plays a crucial role in the body [33]. Stress activates hypothalamus - pituitary - adrenal axis (HPA) axis and influences several neurological function at both central and peripheral level. Any kind of stress influences brain functions by causing long term changes in the multiple neural systems [34,35]. Restraint stress has been reported to influence motor activity, caused pain perception [37] anxiety like behavior [36], and depression-like behaviors [38] in the animals. In the present study, 6-hr restraint stress significantly caused anxiety like behavior, impaired motor activity and antinocieption, indicating stress induced neurobehavioral alterations. Stress has already been reported to alter neurobehavioral in both acute as well as chronic stress [38]. Marked behavioral changes might be due to alteration in the brain regions controlling motor activity and anxiety like behavior. Impaired motor activity could be due to stress induced depression. Further, St. John's Wort treatment for five days significantly improved behavior alterations, suggesting its neuroprotective effect against stressful conditions. Antidepressants have been reported to alleviate stress and stress related effects [39,40]. Recently, neuroprotective effects of antidepressants have been reported [45]. However, scientific mechanistic explanations of their clinical efficacy for treatment of depression are not been fully understood so far. Present study further suggests its therapeutic potential against these stress related altered behavioral states. Further, five days St. John's Wort treatment did not influence significantly antinociceptive effect. This might be due to its own analgesic effect, antianxiety and improved locomotor activity. In the present study, St. John's Wort treatment significantly produced analgesic effect. Antidepressant drugs have been widely used for many years to treat pain and related states, despite unclear rationale of their clinical use [45]. Their mechanisms of action (noradrenergic, serotonergic, opioids), focusing on central and peripheral analgesic actions are still not clear.

        Oxidative stress causes cellular damage and accelerates neuro-degeneration by inducing the reactive oxygen species (ROS) that oxidize vital cellular components such as lipids, proteins and DNA [41,42]. In the present study, 6-hr immobilized stress caused significantly oxidative damage as indicated by raise in lipid peroxidation, nitrite concentration and depletes reduced GSH and catalase activity. Tsuboi et al reported an increased oxidative damage and weak antioxidant defense events are implicated in major depression [43]. In the present study, St. John's Wort treatment significantly attenuated lipid peroxidation, nitrite concentration and partially restored GSH and catalase activity suggesting its antioxidant like effect. Supporting to our study, clinical trial also indicates that raised level of MDA in patients with affective disorders [44]. Besides, other antidepressant such as fluoxetine has also been reported to reduce the maloanodialdehyde level in restraint animals [45]. Antidepressants drugs have also been reported to elevated antioxidant enzyme defense system particularly superoxide enzyme and catalase activity [46]. These antioxidant enzymes raised the level of oxidative defense against stress.

        Conclusion
        Present study highlights the modest activity of SJW against acute restrain stress causes neurobehavioral alterations and oxidative damage. Study provides a hope SJW can be used in the treatment and management of stress conditions.

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        Erschöpfungs- und Schwächezustände 
        http://www.drugbase.de/de/datenbanken/arzneipflanzen
        Dieser Symptomkomplex umfasst Vitalitätsprobleme, eine Abnahme der psychologischen und physischen Leistungsfähigkeit, eine erhöhte Infektanfälligkeit und Burnout-Symptome. Er tritt besonders häufig bei älteren Menschen auf.

        Behandlung
        Tonika können als Umstimmungsmittel angesehen werden, die bei Erschöpfung, Schwäche und Stress helfen. Die Pharmakologie der meist komplexen Extrakte ist weitgehend unklar. Man nimmt an, dass Umstimmungsmittel (Adaptogene) corticomimetische und neuromodulatorische Eigenschaften haben. Therapeutische Studien mit Ginseng weisen positive Wirkungen auf.

        Wichtige Arzneipflanzen
        • Tonika, Adaptogene: Eleutherococcus senticosus, Panax ginseng, Sutherlandia frutescens, Withania somnifera, Ginkgo biloba. 
        • Bittermittel: Artemisia abrotanum, Centaurium erythraea, Cinchona-Arten, Citrus aurantium, Gentiana lutea, Harungana madagascariensis, Marsdenia cundurango, Menyanthes trifoliata, Taraxacum officinale. 
        • Scharfstoffe: Acorus calamus, Alpinia officinarum, Myristica fragrans, Zingiber officinale. 
        • Anregungsmittel: Pflanzen mit Purinalkaloiden, wie Coffea arabica, Cola acuminata, Theobroma cacao, Paullinia cupana, Ilex paraguariensis. 
        • Aphrodisiaka: Pausinystalia johimbe, Ptychopetalum olacoides, P. uncinatum, Strychnos nux-vomica, Turnera diffusa; Cantharidin aus Ölkäfern und anderen Insekten.


        Kava and Valerian Reduce Stress Reaction in Clinical Trial
        HerbalGram. 2003;60:27 © American Botanical Council
        Reviewed: Cropley M, Cave Z, Ellis J, Middleton RW. Effect of kava and valerian on human physiological and psychological responses to mental stress assessed under laboratory conditions. Phytotherapy Research 2002;16:23-7.

        Herbal preparations thought to relieve the mental stress of daily life have become popular in recent years. Kava (Piper methysticum G. Forst., Piperaceae) and valerian (Valeriana officinalis L., Valerianaceae) are two herbs that have been traditionally used to manage psychological symptoms such as anxiety. However, these treatments have very limited data to show that they are clinically effective for this purpose.
        Kava is extracted from the roots of a shrub that grows in the South Pacific. At low doses, kava acts as a mild sedative and anxiolytic (anxiety reducing), whereas higher doses have muscle relaxant and anticonvulsant effects. Valerian is an herbaceous plant. Members of the genus grow in Europe, northern Asia, and North America. First used by the ancient Greeks and Romans, valerian is now used to treat mild insomnia and anxiety. At low doses it appears to promote relaxation. Its actions are relatively mild and it is generally considered extremely safe. Known side effects include excitability and headache.

        Valerian and kava may reduce psychological stress via mechanisms that moderate the physiological responses to stress, such as blood pressure. These physiological responses can be measured in the laboratory while subjects complete mental tasks under controlled conditions. This study evaluated whether kava and/or valerian would moderate the psychological and physiological reactivity to mental stress in young, healthy volunteers.
        The subjects consisted of 54 students (30 women and 24 men) aged 18—30 years who completed a mental screening stress task on two occasions, one week apart. The task, called the color/word interference task, has been found to increase blood pressure and heart rate in several previous studies. Subjects were asked to make decisions at an increasing pace as they matched shades of color to color names on a computer screen. Blood pressure, heart rate, and subjective ratings of perceived mental pressure (from "very little" to "extreme" pressure) were measured before, during, and after the task.

        After the first testing session (time 1, or T1), each subject was randomly assigned to one of three groups (n = 18/group): kava, valerian, or control. For the next 7 days, subjects took either kava (120 mg), valerian (600 mg), or nothing (non-placebo control group) daily until they returned for the second testing session (T2). The doses of kava and valerian used were considered standard doses.

        The results showed that for all three groups combined, blood pressure and heart rate increased during the mental stress task and returned to baseline levels following completion of the task. At T1 (before the seven-day treatment), there were no significant differences between groups in resting heart rate, systolic blood pressure, or diastolic blood pressure measurements.
        In response to the mental stress task, increases in systolic blood pressure were significantly smaller at T2 than at T1 in both the kava and valerian groups (P < 0.001 for both) but not in the control group. This moderation of systolic blood pressure reactivity was expected in the kava and valerian groups. No significant effects on diastolic blood pressure were found in any of the groups at any time point; it was not clear why only systolic blood pressure was affected. Heart rate reactivity was significantly reduced at T2 compared to T1 in the valerian group (P < 0.001) but not in the kava or control groups. For heart rate, there was a significant group-by-time interaction but no significant main effects of group or time.

        For subjective ratings of pre-task mental pressure, the kava and valerian groups rated pressure lower at T2 than at T1 (P < 0.001); this difference was not reported in the control group. For ratings of pressure during the task, the results were similar. "Post hoc analysis showed that there was a significant reduction in pressure experienced during the task at T2 relative to T1 in the kava and valerian groups, but not in the control (P < 0.001). Thus, following a seven-day trial of kava and valerian, individuals reduced their subjective ratings of pressure experienced before and during the mental stress task," the authors conclude.

        One limitation of this study was that the control group did not take a placebo, thereby eliminating the possibility of a placebo effect. In addition, it is possible that the other two groups knew they were taking the kava and/or valerian and therefore expected to feel less stressed at T2. According to the authors, the study should be performed using a placebo-control design and future research should extend this work from controlled laboratory conditions to real-life stressful situations.



        Indian J Exp Biol. 2002 Oct;40(10):1161-3. Effect of poly herbal formulation, EuMil, on neurochemical perturbations induced by chronic stress. Bhattacharya A, Muruganandam AV, Kumar V, Bhattacharya SK. Neuropharmacology Laboratory, Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 221 005, India.
        Abstract
        EuMil, a polyherbal formulation consisting of standardised extracts of Withania somnifera (L) Dunal, Ocimum sanctum L, Asparagus racemosus Wilid and Emblica officinalis Gaertn., is used as an anti-stress agent to attenuate the various aspects of stress related disorders. In the present study, the neurochemical mechanisms underlying the anti-stress activity of EuMil were evaluated by measuring the rat brain monoamine neurotransmitter levels and tribulin activity. Chronic electroshock stress (14 days) significantly decreased the nor-adrenaline (NA) and dopamine (DA) levels in frontal Cortex, pons-medulla, hypothalamus, hippocampus and striatal, hypothalamal region, respectively, and increased the 5-hydroxytryptamine (5HT) level in frontal cortex, pons medulla, hypothalamus and hippocampus. Chronic stress, also increased the rat brain tribulin activity. EuMil (100 mg/kg, p.o., 14 days) treatment normalized the perturbed regional NA, DA, 5HT concentrations, induced by chronic stress. EuMil also significantly attenuated the stress-induced increase in the rat brain tribulin activity. The amelioration of chronic stress-induced neurochemical perturbations by EuMil explains the neurochemical mechanisms underlying the observed putative anti-stress activity of the product.

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