Lavender Oil Silexan Helps with Mild Depression

Jim Crocker
3rd April, 2024

Lavender Oil Silexan Helps with Mild Depression

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • In Vienna, silexan (lavender oil) improved symptoms in mild to moderate major depressive disorder (MDD)
  • Silexan was as effective as sertraline, a common antidepressant, and reduced functional impairment
  • The most common side effect of silexan was belching, suggesting good tolerability
In the realm of mental health, the lines between anxiety and depression often blur, presenting a challenge for effective treatment. While antidepressants have been the cornerstone for managing these conditions, the quest for alternative therapies remains critical. A recent study by the Medical University of Vienna[1] sheds light on the potential of silexan—an oral lavender oil preparation—traditionally known for its calming properties, as a treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD). MDD is a condition characterized by persistent sadness and a lack of interest in life. Patients often struggle with daily functioning and may experience symptoms that overlap with anxiety disorders. The Montgomery Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) is a tool used by clinicians to measure the severity of depression, with scores ranging from 0 to 60, where higher scores indicate more severe depression. The study focused on patients with mild to moderate MDD, scoring between 19 and 34 on the MADRS. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either 80 mg of silexan, 50 mg of sertraline—a well-established antidepressant—or a placebo daily for 56 days. The primary goal was to observe changes in the MADRS total score from the start to the end of treatment. The findings were promising: both silexan and sertraline showed a significant reduction in the MADRS score compared to the placebo, indicating an improvement in depressive symptoms. Silexan also led to a notable decrease in functional impairment, which was measured using the Sheehan Disability Scale. This scale assesses the extent to which patients' symptoms disrupt their work, social life, and family responsibilities. These results are not only encouraging for those affected by MDD but also align with previous research on silexan's benefits for anxiety disorders. Earlier studies have demonstrated the anxiolytic—or anxiety-reducing—effects of silexan without the sedative or abuse risks associated with other common treatments like benzodiazepines[2][3]. One such study highlighted silexan's comparability to lorazepam, a benzodiazepine, in treating generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)[3]. Another trial found silexan to be more efficacious than placebo and as effective as paroxetine, an antidepressant, in reducing anxiety symptoms in GAD patients[4]. The recent investigation builds upon this body of evidence, suggesting that the calming effects of silexan can extend beyond anxiety relief to alleviate depressive symptoms. Its impact on functional impairment is particularly noteworthy, as depression can significantly hinder a person's ability to manage daily tasks. As for tolerability, silexan was well-received, with eructation (belching) being the most common adverse effect reported. This profile is favorable when compared to many antidepressants, which can have a range of side effects that sometimes discourage patients from continuing treatment. In conclusion, the study from the Medical University of Vienna supports the antidepressant efficacy of silexan in treating mild or moderate MDD. It also affirms silexan's potential as a well-tolerated alternative to traditional antidepressants, with added benefits for those suffering from anxiety. This research not only offers hope for individuals seeking different treatment options but also underscores the importance of ongoing exploration in the field of mental health therapeutics.

HerbsMedicine

References

Main Study

1) Lavender oil preparation Silexan is effective in mild-to-moderate major depression: a randomized, placebo- and reference-controlled trial.

Published 1st April, 2024

https://doi.org/10.1007/s00406-024-01783-2


Related Studies

2) Silexan, an orally administered Lavandula oil preparation, is effective in the treatment of 'subsyndromal' anxiety disorder: a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial.

https://doi.org/10.1097/YIC.0b013e32833b3242


3) A multi-center, double-blind, randomised study of the Lavender oil preparation Silexan in comparison to Lorazepam for generalized anxiety disorder.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2009.10.006


4) Lavender oil preparation Silexan is effective in generalized anxiety disorder--a randomized, double-blind comparison to placebo and paroxetine.

https://doi.org/10.1017/S1461145714000017



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