Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Herbal Combo Effective for Mild Depression

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Herbal Combo Effective for Mild Depression

Article excerpt

LONDON -- A proprietary formulation that combines St. John's wort, valerian, and passion flower was shown to be effective in the treatment of mild depression, Dr. Gerard P. McGregor said at a symposium on alternative and complementary therapies sponsored by the universities of Exeter and Plymouth.

The findings are based on the results of a 6-week, double-blind study of 63 patients who were randomized to either Neurapas balance (Pascoe Pharmaceutical Preparations Ltd., Giessen, Germany) or placebo. The study showed that 84% of patients who received the herbal preparation had a 50% reduction in the Hamilton Depression (HAM-D) rating scale scores vs. 18% among those on placebo, said Dr. McGregor of the University of Marburg (Germany).

All patients had HAM-D scores between 10 and 17 at study outset. By 6 weeks, scores fell from a mean 12.59 to 6.81 in the active treatment group, but increased slightly from a mean 12.47 to 12.79 in the placebo group. The intergroup difference was statistically significant, he said.

Sleep quality also improved in the herbal treatment group. No significant adverse effects were seen in either group, he said. …

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