Effects of a Korean traditional herbal remedy on psychoneuroendocrine responses to examination stress in medical students: a randomized placebo-controlled trial

Authors

  • Myeong Soo Lee,

    Corresponding author
    1. Professional Graduate School of Oriental Medicine, Wonkwang University, Iksan 570-749, Republic of Korea
    2. Center for Integrative Medicine, Institute of Medical Science, Wonkwang University, Iksan 570-749, Republic of Korea
    • Center for Integrative Medicine, Institute of Medical Science, Wonkwang University School of Medicine, Iksan 570-749, Republic of Korea.
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  • Ki-Won Park,

    1. Center for Integrative Medicine, Institute of Medical Science, Wonkwang University, Iksan 570-749, Republic of Korea
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  • Sun-Rock Moon

    1. Center for Integrative Medicine, Institute of Medical Science, Wonkwang University, Iksan 570-749, Republic of Korea
    2. Department of Radiation Oncology, Wonkwang University School of Medicine, Iksan 570-749, Republic of Korea
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Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of Ondamtanggamibang, a Korean traditional herbal remedy, as a treatment of stress-related psychophysiological variables in healthy medical students experiencing examination stress. Forty volunteers were randomly assigned to either an herbal remedy group (n = 20) or a placebo control group (n = 20). After treatment, systolic blood pressure and plasma concentrations of norepinephrine and cortisol concentrations decreased significantly in the herbal remedy group. The herbal remedy group also exhibited beneficial changes in psychological variables such as anxiety, depression, stress and emotional state. These results suggest that a Korean traditional herbal remedy may reduce systolic blood pressure and catecholamine levels, possibly by stabilizing the sympathetic nervous system. This herbal remedy also reduced the negative psychological symptoms, stress and heightened the emotional state experienced by medical students during examinations. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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