HERBS FOR HEALTH MANAGEMENT

Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE IMPACTS PSYCHOLOGICAL HARDINESS

Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.

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ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…

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The results of two new randomized and controlled mental health research studies demonstrated that just one dose of psilocybin produces significant long-term improvements in patients with anxiety and depression. These findings, recently published in The Journal of Psychopharmacology, are potentially beneficial for individuals who are troubled by anxiety and depression.


Psilocybin is a hallucinogenic substance obtained from certain types of mushrooms indigenous to tropical and subtropical regions of South America, Mexico and the United States. Fifty-one adults participated in the double-blind crossover study at Johns Hopkins University. New York University was the second site. Stephen Ross, M.D., principal investigator of the NYU study and director of substance abuse services in the Department of Psychiatry at Langone Medical Center, said all patients received targeted counseling plus a 0.3 mg/kg dose of psilocybin at one of two treatment sessions. A vitamin placebo at the other session realized 80 percent of the subjects experienced a significant reduction in anxiety and depressive symptoms after six months. Furthermore, 80 percent of the subjects realized clinically significant decreases in symptomology six months after their final treatment session, suggesting there may be longer term benefits with less need for medication.


Further research with larger samples needs to be conducted,

INNOVATIVE RESEARCH FINDINGS SUGGEST NEW DIRECTION IN MENTAL HEALTH CARE

but it is clear these initial findings raise the issue that psilocybin holds true potential for treating anxiety and depression in patients with this diagnosis. These results represent a dramatic step forward in the mental health profession’s efforts to help some of the most seriously affected patients needing a more effective protocol of care and treatment for anxiety and depression.


Sources and Resources:


•  Hallucinogenic drug psilocybin eases existential anxiety in people with life threatening cancer. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; December 1, 2016.

•  Single dose of hallucinogenic drug psilocybin relieves anxiety and depression in patients with advanced cancer. New York, NY: New York University Langone Medical Center; December 1, 2016.

DR. THOMAS W. MILLER, PH.D, ABPP

Thomas W. Miller, Ph.D., ABPP, is a professor emeritus and senior research scientist, Center for Health, Intervention and Prevention, University of Connecticut; retired service chief from the VA Medical Center; and tenured professor in the Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky.

more articles by Dr thomas w. miller