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By providing your email address, you agree not to use the “Herbs for Depression Mini Reference” as a user guide or to provide medical treatment. But to instead use it as an educational resource. You also agree to receive quarterly emails which may include our newsletter and updates to these mini references.
The Herbs for Depression Mini Reference was created to assist integrative psychotherapists and other health care workers in educating patients and their treatment teams on the known potential benefits and risks of integrating 26 herbs into treatment plans.
Clinical herbalism should only be practiced within the confines of the federal and state laws in which you reside. If licensed, herbalism should only be practiced under that license, if doing so is within both the scope of practice of that license and your scope of competency. This reference should not be construed as a means for anyone to practice clinical herbalism without the requisite training needed to do so safely.
Instead, this reference is for education purposes only, and should be used to educated patients and their treatment teams on the benefits and risks of herbs according to the empirical literature and experiences of clinical master herbalists. This reference is not to be used to provide patients with herbal recommendations; rather it is to be used to help professionals in their ethical obligation to reasonably support patients in their herbal healing beliefs while simultaneously maintaining patient safety.
The Herbs for Depression Mini Reference (HDMR) is as much of a tool to encourage dialog between mental health professionals and patients as it is a source of information. It is recommended that at intake, patients are asked if they currently use any herbs or supplements. When doing so keep the following in mind:
Suggested steps for how the Herbs for Depression Mini Reference (HDMR) might be used include:
The example provided above is simply an example of how the HDMR might be used, in reality the HDMR can be used at any time in the therapeutic process to support the patient, educate the treatment team, and to reasonably assist in keeping patients safe. Regardless of how the HDMR is used to educated patients, it is important that the clinician understand the subjective nature of the tool.
For example, the safety ratings and primary effect for each herb, and the level of support the herb has, each derive from the collective opinion of master herbalists and are not definitive in nature. Additionally, the comments, in narrative form, obtained by master herbalistsare not 'collective' opinions, but are instead the opinion of a single master herbalist. The exception being when a statement is followed by a set of parenthesis, such as (3); this indicates the number of herbalists who contributed to this statement—in this example, three. Research on herbs is limited thus the information these master herbalists have provided are important and helpful in educating patients and other clinicians on the use of these herbs.
To quickly become familiar with the type of information in the HDMR see Figure 1.
Example of information found in the Herbs for Depression Mini Reference
For additional information regarding the sources, methods used, and conclusions made regarding the information provided by master herbalists, see Einerson (2017).
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