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

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was 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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    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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