A group of researchers from Japan, South Korea and the United States have analysed the effects of the herb ganaderma lucidus on mood and cognition in mice.
The research was published online in the journal PLOS ONE.
The researchers said the herb, known as ganenerma lucidium canada (or ganador), is known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-seizure, antiplatelet and antioxidant properties.
It is also known to reduce blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
They said the study involved mice, who were given a single dose of the compound, which was then administered to a group of mice in a test chamber.
The compound appeared to reduce depression and anxiety symptoms in mice, but not to its effect on their behaviour.
The findings could be useful in diagnosing depression, anxiety and other mood disorders in humans.
They added that it was possible that other compounds in the plant may be similar in effects to ganiderma lucidosum, the other major active ingredient in ganada.
“There are no known active compounds in gancod, but ganoterma lucidiaceae has a number of similar and well-studied active compounds that are thought to have antidepressant, antihypertensive, antidiabetic, antiemetic and neuroprotective properties,” the researchers wrote.
“However, its ability to produce an antidepressant effect in rodents has not been investigated.”
They added: “We therefore investigated the effects on depression, memory and anxiety in the GBCM mice by administering a single gannerma lucidin dose.
We found that the compound caused a significant increase in the levels of both depressive and anxiety-like behaviours, as well as an increase in circulating BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) levels, an indicator of brain health.”
The researchers also found that, while the compound did not have any effect on appetite, it increased the animals’ overall food intake by up to 30 per cent.
The group concluded that “the observed effects of ganerma lucidis on mood, cognition and appetite were largely attributable to its antidepressant-like effects.”
Gancod is also used to treat migraines, epilepsy, depression and epilepsy.
It was recently discovered that ganodeoxycholic acid, a form of the molecule, can be used to block the activity of the neurotransmitter glutamate.