Pharmaceuticals Anonymous

Monday, August 2, 2010

Book Review: Natural remedies for psychiatric conditions

Handbook of Psychotropic Herbs

by Ethan Russo, MD

The Haworth Press, Inc. 10 Alice Street, Binghampton, New York 13904 USA; 800-429-6784;

Softcover, 2001, $29.95, 352 pp.

In the late 1980s the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) burst upon the psychiatric landscape, and fueled by massive advertising campaigns, these new "miraculous" drugs for depression began to generate enormous profits from the ensuing parade of pharmaceuticals: fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil), fluvoxamine (Luvox), and citalopram (Celexa). A major change in the treatment of psychiatric disorders came with the new drugs: family doctors began to prescribe them--to children as young as four--and today we are seeing the sequelae of suicidal ideation in young people taking these drugs, as well as aggression (most of the school shooters, such as Columbine, were taking one of the SSRIs)

Now that we know the deadly side effects of these drugs, it seems imperative to find alternatives to the SSRIs. Although many people use herbs occasionally, most are unaware of a number of well-researched herbs found to be effective in treating depression, insomnia, dementia and cognitive impairment, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Ethan Russo, MD, author of several books on psychotropic herbs, and a well-known neurologist with vast clinical experience, has remedied this lack with the Handbook of Psychotropic Herbs.

Dr. Russo's books are solidly rooted in scientific data. His analysis of herbal remedies for psychiatric conditions includes history of usage, botany, preparation of extracts, and the newest research, making his Handbook of Psychotropic Herbs a unique and reliable resource for practitioners.

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