I once tried the herbal route through a chinese doctor trained in one of China's prestigious medical schools for acupuncture. At the time acupuncture seemed appealing because I was intrigued by their theory of life energy and chi, and likewise herbs seemed like a good idea. There were herbal stores in my area and they were places to go too for natural remedies. It made me feel better connected to the Earth, since I would be ingesting things in my body that came from Mother Nature. Besides, I was getting them from a Chinese medical doctor, and that title felt appealing for natural remedies, so it seemed like a good idea.
Consequently, if you think the US has issues with their mental health system, you haven't seen China's http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3188776/
It's fairly chaotic. With all the herbs that get recommended there, and the use of alternative therapy like acupuncture, one would think their approach could be viable for mental health. Think again. They don't use herbs and acupuncture successfully for mental health, instead they treat mental health patients like the US once did with overused mental hospitals. Using their system of herbs or acupuncture doesn't successfully translate for mental health service in the US.
Needless to say, the acupuncture I did had relaxed me, and the herbs were appealing when I injested them as a mix, but I took them with pride since it seemed like the healthy thing to do. A few years later, my panic disorder got triggered again, just as bad as I experienced it the first time, and this time the symptoms were even worse. But what about all those herbs I took and all that acupuncture?
Well I pumped a lot of money in herbs and acupuncture -- and just got a nice placebo to feel good for a while with ancient chinese medicine. But after that panic episode, that approach to my mental health just caused me a lot of personal bitching about why herbal remedies and acupuncture failed to cure my panic disorder.
That chinese doctor just got a good run with my money.