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Re: Offer of Chinese Herbs for Depression


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[Edit: This was posted as a reply to a 2 year old thread, and split off to be more timely. a.m.]

[Hey. I say give the good old herbs a try. The thing with chinese medicine is that it uses natural ingredients/herbs, and the majority of the time the side-effects are a lot less than those expected with normal medicines. The thing is however, that the herbalist is likely to reccomend that you stop taking your regular medication whilst on the herbs... I don't know of your condition, but you would have to think really hard about how you would be/would cope off the medication? Also keep in mind that herbs generally work a lot slower and more suttle than medications you would get from a pharmacist. I really believe herbs are beneficial. I had incredably bad acne and nothing was working, and I started taking herbs, and two months later my skin was glowing. No shit, i had no idea it would actually work! I also took herbs to help me increase my energy levels, as I were constantly feeling run-down and couldn't concentrate properly, and again, they worked. Both times I were on the herbs I also changed my diet, trying to eat more home-cooked fresh/raw foods, which I think also helped a lot in both cases. So anyway, I hope I've been a bit helpful, and let me know if you try them/if it makes a difference!

Lyndal ;)

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I would advise EXTREME CAUTION. Yes, herbs work... but you may not get the desired effect, and you're really playing with fire. I used St John's Wort for depression... and it threw me into a unpreviously diagnosed mixed state. Very, very bad reaction. that's when I found out I was bipolar.

I've also had bad reactions/undesired effects for other reasons - menstrual cycles. PM me if you want more detail, people probably don't want TMI.

I think herbs for physical reasons can be good... but I personally don't think it's a wise thing for mental health.

That's just my two cents.

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Hey. I say give the good old herbs a try. The thing with chinese medicine is that it uses natural ingredients/herbs, and the majority of the time the side-effects are a lot less than those expected with normal medicines.

"Herbal medicine" encompasses not just "mild" herbs like St. John's Wort but plants like foxglove and belladonna.

If you are going into herbal remedies with the assumption that the side effects will be inherently less than those from "normal medicines" - what's normal? Lexapro, Aspirin, Celebrex, Synthroid? - then you should leave well enough alone.

I know of two Ayurvedic herbs for depression that have actually been used in allopathic medicine. One of them, if you get the dose wrong, will kill you if there isn't someone around to help. Another can send someone who's actually bipolar into a psychotic mania. One of my medications was synthesized as a replacement for a Chinese herb that became unavailable in wartime ... it has a cleaner side effects profile than the original, but it will cheerfully help you destroy yourself if abused.

Before playing with another culture's traditions, you damned well better know the plants involved - both the actual research with news your favorite herbal site didn't want you to hear and the reported complications/possibilities - better than you know the "normal" medication you are taking. Wise women, shamans, and village doctors all had years of hands-on training with these materials before being allowed to practice. You ain't got that.

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my other concern with chinese herbal medicines is the lack of quality control. There have been many instances over the last several years of modern meds being used to adulterate the natural herbs thereby providing more convincing effect.

a.m.

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