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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 5284234, 20 pages
Review Article

Chinese Herbal Medicine for Postpartum Depression: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials

1School of Preclinical Medicine, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China
2College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Inner Mongolia Medical University, Hohhot 010110, China
3Eye Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100040, China

Received 14 February 2016; Revised 26 July 2016; Accepted 10 August 2016

Academic Editor: Mark Moss

Copyright © 2016 Yongle Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Postpartum depression (PPD) does great harm to women following childbirth. The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic review of the literature to assess the efficacy and safety of CHM for the treatment of PPD. Methods. Published or ongoing registered trials were searched for from the inception of the various databases to December 31, 2015. Data extraction and methodology assessment were conducted independently by two researchers. RevMan 5.3 software was used to analyze the data. Results. Forty-seven registered clinical trials (RCTs) were identified and reviewed. The results showed CHM alone or in combination with routine treatments could reduce HAMD score, EPDS score, incidence of adverse events, TESS, and SERS. CHM combined with routine treatment was more effective in increasing serum estradiol levels and reducing progesterone levels than routine treatment alone. Meanwhile, pooled data revealed that MRLQS combined with routine treatments or MRLQS plus MSHS combined with routine treatments were more effective than other therapeutic methods in TCM. MRLQS plus MSHS alone was found to be an effective alternative when compared to routine treatments. Conclusions. This review suggested that CHM was safe and effective in the treatment of PPD. However, this could not be proven conclusively. To ensure evidence-based clinical practice, more rigorously designed trials are warranted.