Hypericum in the treatment of seasonal affective disorders.
ABSTRACT Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) represents a subgroup of major depression with a regular occurrence of symptoms in autumn/winter and full remission in spring/summer. Light therapy (LT) has become the standard treatment of this type of depression. Apart from this, pharmacotherapy with antidepressants also seems to provide an improvement of SAD symptoms. The aim of this controlled, single-blind study was to evaluate if hypericum, a plant extract, could be beneficial in treating SAD patients and whether the combination with LT would be additionally advantageous. Patients who fulfilled DSM-III-R criteria for major depression with seasonal pattern were randomized in a 4-week treatment study with 900 mg of hypericum per day combined with either bright (3000 lux, n = 10) or dim (< 300 lux, n = 10) light condition. Light therapy was applied for 2 hours daily. We found a significant (MANOVA, P < .001) reduction of the Hamilton Depression Scale score in both groups but no significant difference between the two groups. Our data suggest that pharmacologic treatment with hypericum may be an efficient therapy in patients with seasonal affective disorder.
- SourceAvailable from: Souvik KusariMetabolomics, 02/2012; , ISBN: 978-953-51-0046-1
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This paper reports a critical review of 27 herbal medicines and formulas in treating a broad range of psychiatric disorders (in addition to anxiety and depression), including obsessive-compulsive, seasonal affective, bipolar depressive, psychotic, phobic and somatoform disorders. Ovid Medline, Pubmed and the Cochrane Library were searched for pharmacological and clinical evidence of herbal medicines with psychotropic activity. A forward search of later citations was also conducted. Whilst substantial high-quality evidence exists for the use of kava and St John's wort in the treatment of anxiety and depression respectively, currently there is insufficient robust clinical evidence for the use of many other herbal medicines in psychiatric disorders. Phytotherapies which potentially have significant use in psychiatry, and urgently require more research are Rhodiola rosea (roseroot) and Crocus sativus (saffron) for depression; Passiflora incarnata (passionflower), Scutellaria lateriflora (scullcap) and Zizyphus jujuba (sour date) for anxiety disorders; and Piper methysticum (kava) for phobic, panic and obsessive-compulsive disorders. While depression and anxiety are commonly researched, the efficacy of herbal medicines in other mental disorders requires attention. The review addresses current issues in herbal psychotherapy: herbal safety, future areas of application, the relationship of herbal medicine with pharmaceuticals and the potential prescriptive integration of phytomedicines with synthetic psychotropic medicines. Particular attention is given to clinical and safety issues with St John's wort and kava.Phytotherapy Research 08/2007; 21(8):703-16. DOI:10.1002/ptr.2187 · 2.40 Impact Factor