Many herbal agents are claimed to be beneficial in a range of human conditions and illnesses, including depression. However, medical science is based on strict scientific and mathematical principles. Accordingly, any agent, herbal or otherwise, must be able to actually prove its claims.
No herbal agents to date have been able to show that they are as effective as prescribed antidepressant medications in the treatment of depression.
Claims have been made involving a range of herbal agents, including fish oils, St John’s Wort and Valerian. While improvement in some symptoms have been reported, such as difficulty sleeping, mild anxiety or mild degrees of depression, herbal medications must at present be regarded as unproven.
Many individual cases are reported in which improvement in particular illnesses coincides with the use of a particular herbal medication. However, coincidence is not necessarily cause. If a 95 year old man who never watched TV drops dead as soon as a TV is turned on in front of him, we would not then claim that watching TV causes sudden death!
Medical science will not support the use of any substance which has not proven its effectiveness in double blind placebo controlled trials.
Important Disclaimer: This site is medical information only, and is not to be taken as diagnosis, advice or treatment, which can only be decided by your own doctor.