Botanical and dietary supplements for mood and anxiety in menopausal women

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine, University of Illinois, Chicago 60612, USA.
Menopause (Impact Factor: 2.81). 01/2007; 14(3 Pt 1):541-9. DOI: 10.1097/01.gme.0000236934.43701.c5
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This paper reviews the commonly used botanicals for treatment of mood and anxiety disorders in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women and presents information on their safety and efficacy.
The MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched for clinical trials related to the use of botanicals for depression, anxiety, and mood disturbances. Papers were excluded if they were in a language other than English, did not include midlife women as study participants, or did not report on changes in mood, depression, or anxiety.
Five of seven trials of St. John's wort for mild to moderate depression showed a significant improvement. The one randomized, controlled trial of ginseng in postmenopausal women reported improvements in mood and anxiety. All three randomized, controlled trials of ginkgo found no effect on depression. In four of eight controlled trials, kava significantly reduced anxiety. Black cohosh significantly reduced depression and anxiety in all studies reviewed.
St. John's wort and black cohosh appear to be the most useful in alleviating mood and anxiety changes during menopause. Ginseng may be effective, but more research needs to be done. Kava holds promise for decreasing anxiety in peri- and postmenopausal women; however, women should be careful in the amount and duration of use. Finally, ginkgo and valerian do not appear to be useful in reducing depression or anxiety in this population.

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    • "Valeriana spp. is well known and proven antidepressants and is widely used as a mild sedative. (Leathwood et al., 1982; Leathwood and Chauffard, 1985; Dunaev et al., 1987; Leuschner et al., 1993; Santos et al., 1994a,b; Cavadas et al., 1995; Carpasso et al., 1996; Houghton, 1999; Ortiz et al., 1999; Carpasso and De Feo, 2002; De Feo and Faro, 2002; Miyasaka et al., 2006; Awad et al., 2007; Bhattacharya et al., 2007; Fachinetto et al., 2007; Geller and Studee, 2007; Krystal, 2007; Saeed et al., 2007; Wu et al., 2007; Yao et al., 2007; Hattesohl et al., 2008; Tariq and Pulisetty, 2008). The genus is used for the same purpose in Northern Peru. "
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    ABSTRACT: Mal aire (bad air), mal viento (bad wind), susto and espanto (fright), mal ojo (evil eye) and envidia (envy) are seen as very common illnesses in Andean society. The Western concept of "psychosomatic disorders" comes closest to characterizing these illnesses. Treatment in many cases involves the participation of the patient in a cleansing ceremony. In addition, patients frequently receive herbal amulets for protection against further evil influences and for good luck. A total of 222 plant species belonging to 172 genera and 78 families were documented and identified as herbal remedies used to treat nervous system problems in Northern Peru. Most species used were Asteraceae, followed by Solanaceae and Lamiaceae. The majority of herbal preparations were prepared from the whole plant. In over 60% of the cases fresh plant material was used to prepare remedies, which differs slightly from the average herbal preparation mode in Northern Peru. Interestingly, only about 36% of the remedies were applied orally, while the majority was applied topically. Over 79% of all remedies were prepared as mixtures with multiple ingredients by boiling plant material either in water or in sugarcane spirit. Little scientific evidence exists to date to prove the efficacy of the species employed as nervous system remedies in Northern Peru. Only 24% of the plants found or related species in the same genus have been studied at all. The information gained on frequently used traditional remedies against nervous system disorders might give some leads for future targets for further analysis in order to develop new drugs addressing nervous system disorders.
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    Article: Menopause
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    ABSTRACT: Avis NE, Crawford S, Johannes CB. Menopause. In: Handbook of Women's Sexual and Reproductive Health, eds. GM Wingood and RJ DiClemente. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2002, pp. 367-391. ISBN 0306466511, 9780306466519. Limited preview available via Google Book Search.
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