Antidepressant-like effect of Salvia sclarea is explained by modulation of dopamine activities in rats

Seol GH, Shim HS, Kim PJ, Moon HK, Lee KH, Shim I, Suh SH, Min SS
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2010


The purpose of the present study was to screen aromatic essential oils that have antidepressant effects to identify the regulatory mechanisms of selected essential oils.

The antidepressant effects of essential oils of Anthemis nobilis (chamomile), Salvia sclarea (clary sage; clary), Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary), and Lavandula angustifolia (lavender) were assessed using a forced swim test (FST) in rats. Rats were treated with essential oils by intraperitoneal injection or inhalation. Serum levels of corticosterone were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

Among the essential oils tested, 5% (v/v) clary oil had the strongest anti-stressor effect in the FST. We further investigated the mechanism of clary oil antidepression by pretreatment with agonists or antagonists to serotonin (5-HT), dopamine (DA), adrenaline, and GABA receptors. The anti-stressor effect of clary oil was significantly blocked by pretreatment with buspirone (a 5-HT1A agonist), SCH-23390 (a D1 receptor antagonist) and haloperidol (a D2, D3, and D4 receptor antagonist).

Our findings indicate that clary oil could be developed as a therapeutic agent for patients with depression and that the antidepressant-like effect of clary oil is closely associated with modulation of the DAnergic pathway.


Seol GH, Shim HS, Kim PJ, et al. Antidepressant-like effect of Salvia sclarea is explained by modulation of dopamine activities in rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2010;130(1):187-190.

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