A new research study took a look at treating depression with an unusual element – lemon seed extract.
The study was published in January 2022 in a special issue of the Journal of Integrative Neuroscience titled “Natural Products for Neurological Disorders”. Researchers from a number of Saudi Arabian institutions used mice to experiment with the effects of lemon seed extract on neuro-modulatory activity, or what effect the extract had on the nervous system.
The researchers begin by noting that lemons (Citrus limon L.) are already used as natural remedies for a number of conditions. They looked specifically to the phytochemical content of lemon seed extract, and its neuropharmacological potential.
They found a diverse profile of phytochemicals in the lemons they used, including:
- saponins &
They used Swiss albino mice, and gave them thiopental sodium, which has a sedative effect, and will induce sleep within a specific timeframe.
- The mice were observed, including in three experiments that induced activity.
- The control group received distilled water, one was given diazepam, and another four groups received lemon seed extract in varying strengths.
In all cases, the lemon seed extract performed better than diazepam. The mice which were given lemon seed extract showed significant variations from the other groups.
- They went to sleep faster.
- They stayed asleep longer.
- They reacted positively to the activity tests – agitation and activity was reduced.
- The reaction depended on the dose they were given.
It is impossible to ask the mice how they felt, so the researchers depended on certain behaviors to give them clues, such as activity levels, which indicated their levels of agitation or relaxation.
Depression is a common disorder that many people experience. Many common antipsychotic drugs have side effects that make them difficult to use in the long term. That’s why finding an organic substance that works is a big step towards better therapeutic options for patients.
The researchers posit that depression and anxiety may be at least partly the result of disruptions of the body’s system of defense via antioxidants, resulting in oxidative stress. This may cause damage to the neurological system.
As the researchers conclude, “The results shown in this study demonstrate that Citrus limon extracts have neuropharmacological properties that can be further examined for their potential role as an adjuvant with conventional medications or nutraceuticals.”