Depression and Chinese Medicine: Learn About the Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatments for Depression

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The main difference between Western medical treatment for depression and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to alleviate depression symptoms is the view of what causes depression. While Western methods such as psychotherapy and using medications such as Prozac focus on changing the brain, TCM believes that depression originates from blocked chest energy, or Qi. Chinese herbs for depression are a popular part of modern Chinese medicine.

Depression and Chinese Herbs

There are many Chinese herbs for depression. Often, multiple herbs are ordered by the TCM healthcare professional and some can even be easily ordered online.

One popular remedy is combining chai hu, or bupleurum, with a bit of fresh mint. Chai hu is also used in many non-depression treatments including anorexia, asthma, and constipation.

Other Chinese herbs used in treating depression are he huan pi or he huan hua, which is a mimosa bark or flower. It is often combined with dan shen or salvia miltorrhiza to unblock chest energy and soothe depression and its symptoms.

There are also a number of Chinese medicines on the market which incorporate multiple herbal remedies, some dating more than 900 years old.

How to Get Started

Many Chinese herbs can be ordered online, but one should not undertake treatment for even mild depression without consulting with a traditional or holistic healthcare professional. Most cities have acupuncturists and holistic doctors even if a practitioner of TCM is not readily available. It is especially important to ensure that any herbs taken do not cause allergic reactions or interact with your current medications.

Searching Google or another search engine for your city and Chinese medicine or holistic medicine may be a good start. In addition, many health food and grocery stores have information about TCM or related modalities. Yoga studios can also be good resources of information on how to get safely started using Chinese herbs for depression.

Also remember that many medicines, even natural herbs, can take several weeks to take effect. Stick to your new treatment plan for a fair amount of time, and you should be able to find a natural way to treat mild depression.


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