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Fitoterapia. 2011 Apr;82(3):474-80. doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2010.12.006. Epub 2010 Dec 24.

Pharmacological studies in an herbal drug combination of St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) and passion flower (Passiflora incarnata): in vitro and in vivo evidence of synergy between Hypericum and Passiflora in antidepressant pharmacological models.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Freiburg Medical School, Freiburg, Germany.


Extracts of Hypericum, Passiflora and Valeriana are used for the treatment of mild depression and anxiety. We were interested whether a combination of Hypericum and Passiflora exerts comparable effects to Hypericum alone. We used two well-established models for investigating extracts for their anti-depressant activity, namely the effects on synaptic uptake of serotonin and the forced-swimming-test. We show here for the first time, that Passiflora significantly enhances the pharmacological potency of Hypericum in both models. Our data suggest that anti-depressive therapeutic effects of Hypericum are possible with lower doses, when it is combined with Passiflora, than with mono-preparations of Hypericum.

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