Study Finds Xiao Yao Wan Useful for Indigestion With Depression in Perimenopausal Women

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Study Finds Xiao Yao Wan Useful for Indigestion With Depression in Perimenopausal Women

Published on 12-09-2014

"ChadD" is an acupuncturist and lives in Minneapolis and has authored 367 other posts.

Whether you are using acupuncture, herbal medicine or other techniques within Chinese Medicine, behind all of this is the diagnostic framework.  When you treat someone you are generally ariving at their TCM diagnosis through a number of methods.  What this means in very general terms is that individual symptoms as they are often viewed in western medicine are often related with an underlying causal condition.

This study is interesting because you can see the framework in play - why else would a study be done that looks at one herbal formula treating indigestion (functional dyspepsia) with perimenopausal women with depression.  These actually arise together quite often and Chinese Medicine is well suited to treating the whole rather than the individual symptoms (i.e. nexium, prozac and hrt, as simple examples).

Xiao Yao Wan was the herbal formula used within this study and it is extremely commonly used for what we would call liver qi stagnation in TCM diagnostic terms (among other patterns).  Liver qi stagnation is often the diagnosis behind psycho-emotional symptoms with physical symptoms mostly involving digestion with an underlying hormonal imbalance of some type.

Researchers at the Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine recruited 180 patients with functional dyspepsia and depression and divided them into two groups of 90, treatment and control.  

The treatment group involved oral administration of xiao yao wan and the control group was given a placebo.  Patients were treated for 8 weeks and then had a follow up at 6 months.  To evaluate they used the hamilton scale (hrsd) for depression and checking plasma levels of motilin and gastrin, with a gastric emptying test.

The researchers concluded that Xiao Yao Wan "had a good therapeutic effect and improved the symptoms in patients with perimenopausal functional dyspepsia" with a total effective rate being "significantly superior to that of the placebo."  Every factor, depression, gastric emptying and digestion symptoms was greatly improved in the treatment group compared to the control.  

Researchers concluded that these results "confirm the therapeutic effects of the Xiaoyao pill in perimenopausal FD patients and indicate that it is worthy of clinical promotion" and it "is effective and safe for the treatment of perimenopausal women with FD associated with depression."


This post has the following associations:

Issues/Symptoms: depression, indigestion

Patterns: liver qi stagnation

Formulas: xiao yao wan

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