Complementary Medicine for Psychiatric Disorders in Children and Adolescents

Nerissa L. Soh; Garry Walter


Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2008;21(4):350-355. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Purpose of Review: To examine recent empirical studies of herbal and dietary treatments for psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents.
Recent Findings: Very few quality studies into the use of omega-3 fatty acids, St John’s wort, dietary manipulations, kava, gingko and lemon balm in managing psychiatric disorders have been conducted in children and adolescents.
Summary: A number of herbal treatments show promise, but much more empirical research is required to establish their efficacy in the paediatric population.


The use of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) overall is increasing[1] and studies from Canada, the USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand show that rates of use by young people range from 15 to 77%.[2,3,4,5,6,7,8] There have been few recent prevalence studies, however, into CAM usage by children and adolescents with psychiatric disorders (e.g.[9]). Many types of complementary and alternative treatments are used by children and adolescents with psychiatric disorders; in this review, we focus on those with potential metabolic or pharmacological actions, which may be efficacious according to recent research.


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