Carolyn Dew, Registered Acupuncturist
Tis the season of dark days, less sunlight, being forced indoors, and being alone with your thoughts. Winter is peak yin time – a time of reflection, of slowing down, a time to recharge. It is the opposite energy to summer. It is a time of contemplation and renewal however if you find yourself sitting with negative thoughts for too long or too often, or if you are feeling really stuck and not able to go with the flow of winter mentally or physically, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can help.
Doctors in China has been using the TCM herbal formula Xiao Yao San for centuries. “Free and Easy Wanderer” contains eight commonly used herbs: bupleurum root, chinese angelica root, white peony root, poria, bighead atractylodes rhizome, roasted ginger, prepared licorice root, and peppermint. In Chinese Medicine theory terms, Xiao Yao San soothes the liver, invigorates the spleen, nourishes the blood and clears heat away from the liver due to blood deficiency.
Western medical research has found similar results. Researchers set out to evaluate the beneficial and harmful effects of Xiao Yao San in a research article : A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials (Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2012, Article ID 931636).
What they found was that using the prescription of Xiao Yao San in all of its forms (pills, powder and tea) can be beneficial to patients with depression.
In comparing Xiao Yao San prescriptions alone, antidepressants alone, and the combination of Xiao Yao San prescriptions and antidepressants, the researchers found that Xiao Yao San prescriptions may have the same effectiveness as antidepressants, and with fewer side effects. Combining Xiao Yao San with antidepressants showed significant beneficial effects—shorter onset time, symptom improvement with less adverse events—as compared to the results of those taking just antidepressants or just Xiao Yao San prescriptions.
So if you are struggling with depressive thoughts and low mood consider accessing TCM therapy. Besides Chinese herbal medicine, Acupuncture is also a super effective tool at stabilizing and treating the mood disorders. These can be used on their own or as an adjunct to your current medical therapy.
For more info, please check out carolyndew.ca