Therapeutical strategies for anxiety and anxiety-like disorders using plant-derived natural compounds and plant extracts

Julia Fedotova, Peter Kubatka, Dietrich Busselberg, Alexander G. Shleikin, Martin Caprnda, Jozef Dragasek, Luis Rodrigo, Miroslav Pohanka, Iveta Gasparova, Vladimir Nosal, Radka Opatrilova, Tawar Qaradakhi, Anthony Zulli, Peter Kruzliak

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

7 Citations (Scopus)


Anxiety and anxiety-like disorders describe many mental disorders, yet fear is a common overwhelming symptom often leading to depression. Currently two basic strategies are discussed to treat anxiety: pharmacotherapy or psychotherapy. In the pharmacotherapeutical clinical approach, several conventional synthetic anxiolytic drugs are being used with several adverse effects. Therefore, studies to find suitable safe medicines from natural sources are being sought by researchers. The results of a plethora experimental studies demonstrated that dietary phytochemicals like alkaloids, terpenes, flavonoids, phenolic acids, lignans, cinnamates, and saponins or various plant extracts with the mixture of different phytochemicals possess anxiolytic effects in a wide range of animal models of anxiety. The involved mechanisms of anxiolytics action include interaction with γ-aminobutyric acid A receptors at benzodiazepine (BZD) and non-BZD sites with various affinity to different subunits, serotonergic 5-hydrodytryptamine receptors, noradrenergic and dopaminergic systems, glutamate receptors, and cannabinoid receptors. This review focuses on the use of both plant-derived natural compounds and plant extracts with anxiolytic effects, describing their biological effects and clinical application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-446
Number of pages10
JournalBiomedicine and Pharmacotherapy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017



  • Anxiety
  • Anxiety-like disorders
  • Flavonoids
  • Natural compounds
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Plant extracts
  • Synthetic anxiolytics
  • Terpenes
  • Therapeutic strategies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology

Cite this

Fedotova, J., Kubatka, P., Busselberg, D., Shleikin, A. G., Caprnda, M., Dragasek, J., Rodrigo, L., Pohanka, M., Gasparova, I., Nosal, V., Opatrilova, R., Qaradakhi, T., Zulli, A., & Kruzliak, P. (2017). Therapeutical strategies for anxiety and anxiety-like disorders using plant-derived natural compounds and plant extracts. Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy, 95, 437-446.