The Chinese herbal formula Xiao Yao San is a combination of herbs that includes bupleurum root, Chinese angelica root, white peony root, poria, bighead atractylodes rhizome, ginger, prepared licorice root, menthol and peppermint. The formula is used in traditional Chinese medicine as a treatment for mood disorders. Evidence suggests that the formula may possess significant antidepressant effects and that in combination with mainstream pharmaceutical antidepressants, may provide significant relief from low mood. In some cases Xiao Yao San may be superior to mainstream antidepressant drugs for the treatment of depression. Nutritionally, this is not surprising, as plants contain a large number of chemicals that have been shown to possess mood elevating properties. When taken in combination, these chemicals may provide significant mental health benefits particularly with regard to anxiety and depression.
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