Phytomedicines for Prevention and Treatment of Mental Health Disorders

New York Medical College, 40 Sunshine Cottage Road, Valhalla, NY 10595, USA. Electronic address: .
The Psychiatric clinics of North America (Impact Factor: 1.87). 03/2013; 36(1):37-47. DOI: 10.1016/j.psc.2012.12.004
Source: PubMed


Herbal medicines supported by evidence of safety and efficacy in the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, cognitive enhancement, mental focus, and sexual function are useful as monotherapies, multiherb combinations, and as adjuncts to prescription psychotropics. Relevant mechanisms of action and clinical guidelines for herbs in common use can assist clinicians who want to enhance treatment outcomes by integrating phytomedicinals into their treatment regimens. Research is needed to strengthen the evidence base and to expand the range of disorders that can be treated with herbal extracts. Studies of herbal genomic effects may lead to more targeted and effective treatments.

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    ABSTRACT: After decades of mind/brain-focused subspecialization, psychiatry is now reconsidering the whole person. “Integrative medicine” is being used to denote the strategic combining of standard treatments (eg, medication, psychotherapies) with evidence-based complementary and alternative approaches (eg, herbs, nutrients, acupuncture, neuro-therapy). “Integrated medicine” refers to the practice of using a multidisciplinary treatment team (physicians, psychologists, social workers, and occupational and physical therapists). The goals of both integrative and integrated care are to address the biological, psychological, and social needs of the patient. This article highlights evidence-based treatment with herbs and nutrients with good tolerability and potential benefit when integrated into psychiatric practices. The other two articles in this Special Report are intended to refresh and update your knowledge of nutritional and metabolic disorders commonly encountered in psychiatric patients. Psychiatrists can diagnose conditions such as vitamin deficiencies, nutrient deficiencies, hypothyroidism, and obesity, and they can treat or refer patients with these ailments. Sarris and colleagues1 have proposed that integrative mental health (a subdivision of integrative medicine) encompass mainstream mental health treatments, evidence-based complementary and alternative approaches, healthy lifestyle changes, and socio-cultural issues. The evolving concept of integrative mental health appears to encompass the goals and practices of integrated medicine. Modern medicine is probing the biological bases of nutritional supplements and herbs to understand their therapeutic actions. Identifying active constituents and improving extraction processes will allow further development of natural combinations and synthetic analogues and consequently will expand treatment options.
    Psychiatric Times 07/2013; 30(7).
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in psychiatry or integrative psychiatry covers a wide range of biological, psychological and mind-body treatments that enhance standard medical practices and patient outcomes. While CAM approaches are popular among patients, health professionals have received limited education in these interventions and they are often unaware of their patients’ use of CAM treatments. Method: This overview highlights evidence-based CAM treatments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) including dietary interventions, phytomedicines, mind-body practices and neurofeedback. Results: While conventional treatments are the mainstays for ADHD, there are a large number of available treatments that can be used to enhance treatment response. Conclusion: With improved education and further scientific and clinical research, validated integrative treatments will provide more effective, lower risk and lower cost care for patients with ADHD.
    04/2015; 5(2). DOI:10.2174/221067660502150430154937