Depression is a common psychiatric disorder and a leading cause of disability worldwide. Traditional
Chinese medicine is one of the commonly used complementary and alternative medicine therapies for depression.
Clinical trials have been carried out to assess the efficacy and safety of Chinese herbal medicine currently. The
exploration of herbal mechanisms of action used for the treatment of depression has also received great attention.
This study is performed to summarize the frequently used formulae, patent drugs and single herbs in treating
depression, review the literatures of clinical trials in treating depressive disorders, and to list the possible mechanisms
involved during the treatment. Besides, we will analyze the limitations of present studies and the obstacles
in the modernization of traditional Chinese medicine.
Keywords: Depression, traditional Chinese medicine, clinical trials, therapeutic mechanisms, modernization, review.
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