St Johns Wort

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In my blog of the 10th of November, I outlined the extent of the problem of depression in our societies, the key symptoms and remedies.

Following on from this blog, here we look at the herb St John’s Wort which is considered to be one of the most effective over the counter anti-depressants.

Here are some key points about St John’s Wort:

  • First and foremost it is an anti-depressant
  • Since depresion has such a wide variety of symptoms, it can make it appear more of a cure-all than it really is
  • Hence, people can end up treating their depression, without realizing they have it
  • It has fewer side-effects than older medicinal anti-depressants, and some of the more modern ones. In fact, it has few if any side-effects.
  • It is very effective at treating milder forms of depression, but may well not be enough for more serious forms
  • As with all drugs, it is not effective for all people all of the time. Given the range of depression’s symptoms, this is hardly surprising.
  • Longer term treatments help protect against relapses
  • It can help to supress symptoms, and prevent the complications of no treatment
  • The risk of self-treatment is that it can bury problems that really require more help
  • Clinical test support the view tha St John’s Wort is effective with milder forms of depression. It can also be effective with dysthymia (longer term mild depresion). It is not for severe depression (at least on its own).

For a more extensive discussion this subject, clinical tests and other popular herbs try this book:

Herbs for the Mind, by Davidson & Connor

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