The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    If you found the information here helpful, please consider supporting this site.If you found the information here helpful, please consider supporting this site.

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    Rhodiola rosea treats depression

    Standardized extract SHR-5 of Rhodiola rosea L. rhizomes (Sedum roseum; rose root) was studied in patients suffering from a current episode of mild/moderate depression.

    First, the details.

    • Patients with Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAMD) questionnaire scores between 21 and 31 were randomly assigned to one of 3 groups.
      • Group A received SHR-5, 340 mg/day.
      • Group B received SHR-5, 680 mg/day.
      • Group C received placebo.
    • HAMD questionnaires were repeated on day 42.

    And, the results.

    • Groups A and B experienced significant improvement in overall depression, insomnia, emotional instability, and somatization (medical symptoms with no discernible organic cause), but not self-esteem.
    • The placebo group did not show improvement.
    • No serious side effects were reported in the groups.

    The bottom line?
    The authors concluded, “Standardized extract SHR-5 shows antidepressive potency in patients with mild to moderate depression … over a 6-week period.”

    Rhodiola rosea is often referred to as an “adaptogen.” More on that, here.

    8/6/08 22:40 JR

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