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04.03.2015


Animal study: combo Melissa officinalis and Passiflora caerulea inhibits stress-related cortisol

If you're under heavy psychological stress, tea made from dried lemon balm [Latin name Melissa officinalis] and passion flower [Passiflora caerulea] can help limit rising levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Researchers at the University of Talca in Chile made the discovery after doing experiments with mice.

Animal study: combo Melissa officinalis and Passiflora caerulea inhibits stress-related cortisol
Study
Both Melissa officinalis and Passiflora caerulea are herbs known for their sedative properties. That's why the Chilean supplements manufacturer Knop Laboratorios [knoplabs.com] puts dried material from both of these herbs in its Melipass. The ratio between the two herbs is 1:1.

The researchers took the ingredients out of the Melipass capsules and boiled them for 10 minutes. They filtered the tea and then gave it to the mice to drink.


Animal study: combo Melissa officinalis and Passiflora caerulea inhibits stress-related cortisol Animal study: combo Melissa officinalis and Passiflora caerulea inhibits stress-related cortisol

Melissa officinalis

Passiflora caerulea

Components include caffeic acid, luteolin, rosmarinic acid, ferulic acid, hydroxycinnamic acid

Components include chrysin, luteolin, apigenin, GABA


The researchers subjected half of their lab animals to psychological stress daily for a month. They did this by keeping the animals in restricted tubes (as though they were straitjacketed) without food or drink for five hours every day.

Half of the mice that were subjected to stress and half of the other group were given the tea made from Melissa officinalis and Passiflora caerulea.

Results
The figure below shows that stress caused the mice's concentration of corticosterone to rise, but that drinking the herbal tea reduced the increase by over half.

Corticosterone is the most important stress hormone in mice. The human equivalent is cortisol. You'd expect that, if tea containing Melissa officinalis and Passiflora caerulea inhibits the production of corticosterone in mice, that the same tea would inhibit the production of cortisol in humans.


Animal study: combo Melissa officinalis and Passiflora caerulea inhibits stress-related cortisol


Animal study: combo Melissa officinalis and Passiflora caerulea inhibits stress-related cortisol


Conclusion
Going by the results of this study, if you are thinking of using tea containing Melissa officinalis and Passiflora caerulea as a stress reducer, you'll need to drink a couple of cups a day made from about 3 g dried Melissa officinalis and 3 g dried Passiflora caerulea.

And if you're planning on doing so for longer than a couple of consecutive days, it's probably a good idea to boil the tea for a long time to make sure you obtain a well purified extract. Passiflora caerulea and its close relative Passiflora incarnate contain the toxic cyanogenic glycosides etraphyllin B and epi-tetraphyllin B. [Phytochemistry 1982 21(9) 2277-2285.] The quantities are miniscule, but even so… You can neutralise most of these compounds by boiling the tea for about 15 minutes.

Source:
Int J Clin Exp Med. 2013 Jun 26;6(6):444-51.

More:
Melissa officinalis is a smart drug 08.02.2013