Study: Three different types of depression can be reduced with Chai Hu Shu Gan, a Traditional Chinese Medicine

The traditional Chinese treatment Chai Hu Shu Gan San has long been used as a treatment for all types of depression. A study published in the online journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine gathered evidence on its effectiveness.

  • Chai Hu Shu Gan San has been prescribed as a treatment for depression in ancient books going back to the Ming dynasty.
  • The treatment is made from Chai Hu (Bupleurum chinense), although it has two other constituents: Xiangfu (Cyperus rotundus) and Chuanxiong (Ligusticum chuanxiong).
  • For their study, the researchers used PubMed, China National Knowledge Internet, Wanfang, Chongqing VIP, and the Cochrane library to search for studies published as far back as the said database’s date of establishment until January 1, 2017. The studies included needed to compare Chai Hu Shu Gan San – or its combination with Western medicine – and Western medicine in the treatment of depression.
  • They found that in 42 studies involving 3,234 patients with depression in 15 different types of diseases, Chai Hu Shu Gan San showed promise as a treatment for three types of depression. These were pure depression, post-stroke depression, and postpartum depression. No adverse event of oral administration of the treatment was recorded.

The researchers concluded that Chai Hu Shu Gan San may offer several advantages in the treatment of depression, especially postpartum and post-stroke depression. They recommended that a meticulously designed and conducted randomized control trial be performed to confirm their findings.

Find the full text of the study at this link.

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Journal References:

Sun Y, Xu X, Zhang J, Chen Y. TREATMENT OF DEPRESSION WITH CHAI HU SHU GAN SAN: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW AND META-ANALYSIS OF 42 RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIALS. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2018; 18:66. DOI: 10.1186/s12906-018-2130-z

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