Herbal medicine for mental illness

Before the era of pharmacotherapy, mental illness was treated with herbs. Herbal medicine has its own advantages and disadvantages. At this time, there are about thirty drugs, which are based on medicinal herbs. They are used to treat many mental illnesses: obsessive- compulsive syndrome, bipolar, somatoform , psychotic, phobic , seasonal affective disorders, depression, anxiety.

 Medicinal herbs used in psychiatry

Medicinal herbsMental illness
Rhodiola rosea (pink root of Rhodiola rosea , golden root )Depression
Hypericum perforatum (St. John’s wort, Hypericum ordinary )Depression
Scutellaria lateriflora ( skullcap bicolor _Anxiety disorders
Piper methysticum ( kava )Panic, phobic , OCD
Crocus sativus (saffron)Depression
Zizyphus jujuba ( unabi , chappy , Chinese date)Anxiety disorders
Crocus sativus (saffron)Depression

Researchers have found that more than twenty phytopreparations have epigenetic, endocrinological, neurochemical effects . 

 There is evidence for the use of St. John’s wort for treating major (major depression) and kava for treating anxiety disorders.

Representative data indicate the effectiveness of St John’s wort and kava in treating depression and anxiety. But there is not enough evidence to support the use of other drugs in treating mental illness.  

The integration of medicinal herbs with synthetic psychotropic drugs is of great interest for practical medicine. But it is also necessary to study the safety issues when using St. John’s wort and kava . 

 Treatment with medicinal herbs for mental illness is a direction that needs to be developed in practical health care.

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