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Unformatted text preview: Major depressive disorder Alternative and complementary treatments The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is conducting an ongoing series of clinical tests of alternative and complementary treatments for depression. Those that have been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and compare favorably with conventional treatments include acupuncture ; Ayurvedic medicine; meditation ; and a therapeutic diet designed to be free of caffeine and refined sugar. Herbal preparations are common alternative treatments for depression; in fact an NCCAM study found that depression is the single most common reason for people in the United States to purchase herbal remedies. Some, such as St. John's wort, have been used in Europe for decades. The German Commission E, which regulates government approval of herbal preparations in German-speaking Europe, recently approved the use of Gingko biloba extract as a treatment for depression. The most important caution is that persons who are using herbal remedies, whether to treat depression or other conditions, should always tell their doctor what they are taking, how much, and how often...
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- Fall '09