Dietary supplements and natural products
as psychotherapeutic agents

by
Fugh-Berman A, Cott JM
Department of Health Care Sciences,
George Washington University
School of Medicine and Health Sciences,
Washington, DC, USA.
Psychosom Med 1999 Sep-Oct; 61(5):712-28


ABSTRACT

Alternative therapies are widely used by consumers. A number of herbs and dietary supplements have demonstrable effects on mood, memory, and insomnia. There is a significant amount of evidence supporting the use of Hypericum perforatum (St. John's wort) for depression and Ginkgo biloba for dementia. Results of randomized, controlled trials also support the use of kava for anxiety and valerian for insomnia. Although evidence for the use of vitamins and amino acids as sole agents for psychiatric symptoms is not strong, there is intriguing preliminary evidence for the use of folate, tryptophan, and phenylalanine as adjuncts to enhance the effectiveness of conventional antidepressants. S-adenosylmethionine seems to have antidepressant effects, and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly docosahexaenoic acid, may have mood-stabilizing effects. More research should be conducted on these and other natural products for the prevention and treatment of various psychiatric disorders.


Kava
SAMe
Folate
Ginkgo
Reward
Valerian
Exercise
Cannabis
Curcumin
Moodfoods
Hypericum
Herbal highs
St John's wort
Panax ginseng
Passion flower
Slimming drugs
Herbal medicines
Natural supplements
Psychoactive aspirin?
The antidepressant onion?
Creatine as an antidepressant
Diazepam (Valium) and the potato
Folic acid and PUFAs prevent depression and dementia