Chinese medicine for depression – an encouraging study

A study reported and discussed in the December Townsend Letter described how 60 participants were randomly divided into two groups of 30. One, the treatment group, was treated with Chinese medicine; the other, the comparison group, was treated with Western medicine. In the treatment group, there were 12 males and 18 females 23–65 years of age who had suffered from depression for 3–40 months. In the comparison group, there were 13 males and 17 females aged 24–63 years who had suffered from depression for 3–39 months. None of the members of either group had previously been administered antidepressant medication. Therefore, in terms of sex, age, and disease duration, these two groups were considered statistically comparable for the purposes of this study.

All members of the treatment group were administered Shu Gan Jian Nao Tiao Yu Pian (Soothe the Liver, Fortify the Brain and Regulate Depression Tablets.The medicinals were processed and made into tablets, each tablet weighing 0.3 grams. Five tablets were orally administered each time two times per day.

All members of the comparison group were orally administered 20 milligrams one time per day of fluoxetine, manufactured by Eli Lilly in the US.

Eight weeks' administration equaled one course of treatment for both groups. Analyses of depression using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HMD) and Zung's Self Depression Rating Scale (SDS) were carried out before treatment began and at the end of weeks two, four, six, and eight.

Analysis of the results showed that the Chinese medicinal regime outperformed the Western drug therapy in every parameter studied. Further, in the treatment group, there was not a single adverse reaction. In the comparison group, four participants (13.3%) experienced headaches; three (10%) experienced nausea; two (6.67%) experienced anxiety; and two (6.67%) experienced abnormalities in blood, urine, stool, and/or liver-kidney function examination.

The article ws adapted from Issue 11 (2008) of Xin Zhong Yi (New Chinese Medicine)


Click here for more research reports

First Published in December 2008

Top of page