In Chinese medicine, the herbal combination known as Xinwei Decoction is used to treat patients who have depression in conjunction with dyspepsia. In a study published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine (2005; 33(2): 249-257), 73 subjects were examined using the FD (functional dyspepsia) scale and the Hamilton Depression Scale at the beginning and at the end of the study. The subjects were divided into three groups. One group was given domperidone (an anti dopaminergic drug used to treat bloating, nausea and vomiting), one group was given Xinwei Decoction and a third group was given a placebo.
The study lasted eight weeks. The scores on both the FD scale and the Hamilton Depression scale were markedly better in the group given the herbs when compared to the placebo group or the group taking the drug. In the herbal group, 70% were cured of their symptoms of anxiety and depression. No one in the drug or placebo group had improvement in the symptoms of anxiety or depression.