This intriguing double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial appears to indicate that propolis as an adjunct to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a type of antidepressant medication, improves depressive symptoms over and above SSRIs alone.
Caveat: I have only been able to access the abstract of this study, so have not been able to assess the methodology. The abstract may be accessed here.
Varzaghani, V., Sharifi, M., Hajiaghaee, R., Bagheri, S., Momtaz, S., Tarassoli, Z., & Razmi, A. (2022). Propolis add-on therapy alleviates depressive symptoms; A randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. Phytotherapy Research, 1– 10. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.7380.
A small scale double-blind randomized controlled trial carried out by the Iranian team of Fatemeh Dabaghzadeh and co-workers looked at the effect in healthy subjects of Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus Spenn.) powder taken by mouth on acetyl cholinesterase (AChE) activity and biomarkers of oxidative stress.
Rosemary is used traditionally in some cultures to improve memory. Combined antioxidant and AChE-inhibitory effects might suggest its potential application against Alzheimer’s disease.
In the present study, 1000 mg/day of rosemary powder was found to increase total antioxidant activity and decrease acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity.
Decreased AChE activity means increased activity in cholinergic neurons; thus, contrary to the paper’s draft title (below), rosemary does not have an anticholinergic effect but a cholinergic one. When I pointed this out to the authors they agreed that it is a mistake and will correct it before going to press.
The dysfunction and loss of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons and their cortical projections are among the earliest pathological events in Alzheimer’s disease (Wikipedia).
Dabaghzadeh F et al. (2021). Antioxidant and anticholinergic effects of rosemary extract: a double-blind randomized controlled trial. Advances in Integrative Medicine. In-Press, Journal Pre-Proof. Available online 3 April 2021. Retrieved 19 April 2021.
This randomised double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial showed a reduction in liver enzymes ALT and AST as well as serum triglycerides in subjects with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease who took 2 g Plantago major (Common Plantain) seed twice weekly for 12 weeks.
This randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial from Iran indicates that taking Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica L.) or Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis L.) can reduce some of the biomarkers and inflammatory markers associated with rheumatoid arthritis, although over the three month period of the trial there was no significant difference in patients’ symptoms.
Abd-Nikfarjam B. et al. (2021). Therapeutic Efficacy of Urtica dioica and Evening Primrose in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Research Square. DOI: 10.21203/rs.3.rs-309562/v1 (Retrieved 30/03/2021).
N.B. This is a preprint, a preliminary version of a manuscript that has not completed peer review at a journal.