The Effect of Therapeutic Horticulture on Depression and Kynurenine Pathways

  • Timea HITTER (BURU) University of Agriculture Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Horticulture, 3-5 Mănăştur street, 400372, Cluj-Napoca
  • Éva KÁLLAY Babes Bolyai University, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, 1 Mihail Kogălniceanu street, 400084, Cluj-Napoca
  • Loredana E. OLAR University of Agriculture Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, 3-5 Mănăştur street, 400372, Cluj-Napoca
  • Răzvan ŞTEFAN University of Agriculture Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, 3-5 Mănăştur street, 400372, Cluj-Napoca
  • Erzsebet BUTA University of Agriculture Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Horticulture, 3-5 Mănăştur street, 400372, Cluj-Napoca
  • Silvia CHIOREAN University of Agriculture Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Horticulture, 3-5 Mănăştur street, 400372, Cluj-Napoca
  • Maria CANTOR University of Agriculture Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Horticulture, 3-5 Mănăştur street, 400372, Cluj-Napoca
  • Ionel PAPUC University of Agriculture Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, 3-5 Mănăştur street, 400372, Cluj-Napoca
Keywords: biomarker; gardening activities; mental health; nature-based interventions


The article presents the results of a study conducted to assess change in depression severity, and modification in the kynurenine pathway at participants. Presently, depression is one of the most regularly encountered mental illnesses. Research based on experimental studies indicated the beneficial effects of activities conducted in nature are reducing self-reported anger, fatigue, anxiety, stress and depression. The present study was conducted by measuring depression on both the subjective (Beck Depression Inventory) and the objective (spectrophotometric analysis) levels, to obtain more relevant information regarding the real change in depression levels, during the therapeutic horticulture intervention. Consequently, depression is assessed with the BDI doubled the data by assessing the levels of kynurenine and kynurenic acid obtained from biological samples. Results indicate that the levels of depression measured with the BDI have significantly decreased after the Therapeutic Horticulture Sesions. An even better result regards the fact that the significance of this change was not only statistical, but also clinical. Analysing the kynurerine and kynurenic acid concentrations, differences were observed amongst subject during the research study.


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How to Cite
HITTER (BURU), T., KÁLLAY, Éva, OLAR, L. E., ŞTEFAN, R., BUTA, E., CHIOREAN, S., CANTOR, M., & PAPUC, I. (2019). The Effect of Therapeutic Horticulture on Depression and Kynurenine Pathways . Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca, 47(3), 804-812.
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