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Botanicals of Interest to Psychiatrists 

Botanicals of Interest to Psychiatrists
Chapter:
Botanicals of Interest to Psychiatrists
Author(s):

Daniel A. Monti

, and Andrew B. Newberg

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190690557.003.0007
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date: 31 March 2020

There are many herbal and botanical substances that are currently used by patients with psychiatric disorders such as anxiety or depression. Because each botanical derives from a different source, contains different active components, and has a different application, each must be studied thoroughly and used carefully. The use of herbal medicines differs from that of chemical pharmaceuticals, which are usually tested, packaged, and administered as single agents in defined dosages. Clinical evidence of effectiveness and toxicity of natural agents varies greatly as do methods for assessing their efficacy. The regulation, legality, standards, and control of the use of botanicals also vary greatly throughout the world. An account of the most frequently used phytopsychopharmaceuticals with their biologic effects, indications, side effects, and interactions can be useful to the clinician and are described in this chapter. Some ingredients covered include St. John’s wort, panax ginseng, kava, valerian, cannabis, and lavender.

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