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: 3.36). 05/2007; 14(3 Pt 1):541-9. DOI: 10.1097/01.gme.0000236934.43701.c5
Source: PubMed


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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    • "Bhattacharya and Muruganandam [14] suggested that P. ginseng had significant antistress adaptogenic activity. The antistress activities of ginseng may account for its observed clinical efficacy in stress-related disorders like depression and anxiety [15,16]. Some of the ‘adaptogenic’ effects of ginseng are attributed to its actions on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, resulting in elevated plasma corticotrophin and corticosteroids levels [9]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Red ginseng (RG, the extract of Panax ginseng Meyer) has various biological and psychological activities and may also alleviate fatigue-related disorders. The present study was undertaken to evaluate what kind of fatigue red ginseng alleviate. Animals were orally administered with 50, 100, 200, 400 mg/kg of RG for 7 days. Before experiments were performed. Physiological stress (swimming, rotarod, and wire test) are behavioral parameters used to represent physical fatigue. Restraint stress and electric field test to a certain degree, induce psychological fatigue in animals. Plasma concentration of lactate and corticosterone (CORT) were also measured after these behavioral assays. RG supplementation (100 mg/kg) increased movement duration and rearing frequency of restrainted mice in comparison with control. 100 and 200 mg/kg of RG increased swimming time in cold water (8±4℃) while at 100 mg/kg, RG increased electric field crossing over frequencies. 50, 100 and 200 mg/kg RG prolonged running time on the rotarod and at 100 mg/kg, it increased balancing time on the wire. RG at those doses also reduced falling frequencies. RG supplementation decreased plasma CORT levels, which was increased by stress. Lactate levels were not significantly altered. These results suggest that RG supplementation can alleviate more the damages induced by psychological than physical fatigue.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2011 · Journal of ginseng research
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2010 · African journal of pharmacy and pharmacology
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    • "Regarding alternative treatments, St John’s wort and black cohosh appear to be the most useful in alleviating mood and anxiety changes (not disorders) during menopause.93 "
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    ABSTRACT: Only recently has the perimenopause become recognized as a time when women are at risk for new onset and recurrence of major depression. Untreated depression at this time not only exacerbates the course of a depressive illness, but also puts women at increased risk for sleep disorders, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Although antidepressant medication is the mainstay of treatment, adjunctive therapy, especially with estrogen replacement, may be indicated in refractory cases, and may speed the onset of antidepressant action. Many, but not all, studies, report that progesterone antagonizes the beneficial effects of estrogen. Although some antidepressants improve vasomotor symptoms, in general they are not as effective as estrogen alone for relieving these symptoms. Estrogen alone, however, does not generally result in remission of major depression in most (but not all) studies, but may provide benefit to some women with less severe symptoms if administered in therapeutic ranges. The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in addition to estrogen are usually more beneficial in improving mood than SSRIs or estrogen treatment alone for major depression, whereas the selective norepinephrine and serotonin reuptake inhibitors do not require the addition of estrogen to exert their antidepressant effects in menopausal depression. In addition to attention to general health, hormonal status, and antidepressant treatment, the optimal management of perimenopausal depression also requires attention to the individual woman's psychosocial and spiritual well being.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2010 · International Journal of Women's Health
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