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Review

Medicinal Plants and Their Impact on the Gut Microbiome in Mental Health: A Systematic Review

1
Department of Pharmacognosy, Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Graz, Beethovenstraße 8, 8010 Graz, Austria
2
BioTechMed, Mozartgasse 12, 8010 Graz, Austria
3
Phytomedicines Supply and Development Center, Bayer Consumer Health, Steigerwald Arzneimittelwerk GmbH, Havelstraße 5, 64295 Darmstadt, Germany
4
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Kafrelsheikh University, Kafrelsheikh 33516, Egypt
5
Diagnostic & Research Institute of Hygiene, Microbiology and Environmental Medicine, Medical University Graz, Neue Stiftingtalstraße 6 (MC1.B.)/III, 8010 Graz, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Rosa Casas
Nutrients 2022, 14(10), 2111; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14102111
Received: 18 March 2022 / Revised: 29 April 2022 / Accepted: 10 May 2022 / Published: 18 May 2022
(This article belongs to the Collection Connection between Microbiome, Lifestyle and Diet)
Background: Various neurocognitive and mental health-related conditions have been associated with the gut microbiome, implicating a microbiome–gut–brain axis (MGBA). The aim of this systematic review was to identify, categorize, and review clinical evidence supporting medicinal plants for the treatment of mental disorders and studies on their interactions with the gut microbiota. Methods: This review included medicinal plants for which clinical studies on depression, sleeping disorders, anxiety, or cognitive dysfunction as well as scientific evidence of interaction with the gut microbiome were available. The studies were reported using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement. Results: Eighty-five studies met the inclusion criteria and covered thirty mental health-related medicinal plants with data on interaction with the gut microbiome. Conclusion: Only a few studies have been specifically designed to assess how herbal preparations affect MGBA-related targets or pathways. However, many studies provide hints of a possible interaction with the MGBA, such as an increased abundance of health-beneficial microorganisms, anti-inflammatory effects, or MGBA-related pathway effects by gut microbial metabolites. Data for Panax ginseng, Schisandra chinensis, and Salvia rosmarinus indicate that the interaction of their constituents with the gut microbiota could mediate mental health benefits. Studies specifically assessing the effects on MGBA-related pathways are still required for most medicinal plants. View Full-Text
Keywords: gut microbiome; gut microbiota; gut bacteria; phyto-psychobiotics; microbiome–gut–brain axis; gastrointestinal; mental health; medicinal plant; depression; anxiety; insomnia; cognitive impairment gut microbiome; gut microbiota; gut bacteria; phyto-psychobiotics; microbiome–gut–brain axis; gastrointestinal; mental health; medicinal plant; depression; anxiety; insomnia; cognitive impairment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pferschy-Wenzig, E.-M.; Pausan, M.R.; Ardjomand-Woelkart, K.; Röck, S.; Ammar, R.M.; Kelber, O.; Moissl-Eichinger, C.; Bauer, R. Medicinal Plants and Their Impact on the Gut Microbiome in Mental Health: A Systematic Review. Nutrients 2022, 14, 2111. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14102111

AMA Style

Pferschy-Wenzig E-M, Pausan MR, Ardjomand-Woelkart K, Röck S, Ammar RM, Kelber O, Moissl-Eichinger C, Bauer R. Medicinal Plants and Their Impact on the Gut Microbiome in Mental Health: A Systematic Review. Nutrients. 2022; 14(10):2111. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14102111

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pferschy-Wenzig, Eva-Maria, Manuela R. Pausan, Karin Ardjomand-Woelkart, Stefanie Röck, Ramy M. Ammar, Olaf Kelber, Christine Moissl-Eichinger, and Rudolf Bauer. 2022. "Medicinal Plants and Their Impact on the Gut Microbiome in Mental Health: A Systematic Review" Nutrients 14, no. 10: 2111. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14102111

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