Animal experiments on the psychotropic action of a Hypericum extract


Okpanyi SN, Weischer ML






Extracts of Hypericum perforatum (Psychotonin M) (St. John's wort) with known concentrations of hypericin were tested in several models generally accepted as screening methods in experimental animal studies for the recognition of psychotropic, and in particular of antidepressant activity. Hypericum extract enhanced the exploratory activity of mice in a foreign environment, significantly prolonged the narcotic sleeping time dose-dependently, and within a narrow dose range exhibited reserpine antagonism. Similar to most other antidepressants, hypericum extract enhanced significantly the activity of mice in the water wheel test and after a prolonged daily administration decreased aggressiveness in socially isolated male mice. The presented data in addition to the already proven clinical efficacy justify the use of standardised Hypericum extract in the treatment of mild to moderate depression.