Thursday, 29 May 2014

Is there a natural way to beat depression?

St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a highly effective natural remedy to beat depression.  It is one of the most thoroughly researched of all natural remedies.
A. L. Miller confirms that St. John’s Wort works just as well as tricyclic antidepressants, but has fewer side effects.  Tricyclic antidepressants such as imipramine are widely prescribed but often produce undesirable side effects.  For instance, in a recent study published in the British Medical Journal, 324 patients were randomly assigned to treatment with either St. John’s Wort or imipramine.  Both were equally effective in treating patients with mild to moderate depression.  However, St. John’s Wort was better tolerated than imipramine and fewer patients withdrew as a result of adverse effects.
An analysis of 23 such randomized clinical trials on St. John’s Wort versus placebos, involving 1,757 people in total, proves that the herb is highly effective with minimal side effects.  In one German study using 300mg of St. John’s Wort, 66% of patients with mild to moderately severe depression improved, with less depression and complaints of disturbed sleep, headache, and fatigue, compared to just 26% of those receiving a placebo.  Although it is not as effective for severe depression, the same happens to be true for Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) antidepressants.
A 300mg dose of St. John’s Wort (containing 0.3 percent hypericin) two or three times a day helps most people with mild depression, while twice this amount may help those who suffer severely.  Don’t expect instant results.  It often takes several weeks to work!

Karolyn Boyd

Nutritionist Ottawa

Ottawa Holistic Wellness Centre


A. L. Miller, “St. John’s Wort:  Clinical effects on depression and other conditions,”  Alt Med Rev, Vol 3(1), 1998, pp.18-26
H. Woelk, “Comparison of St. John’s Wort and imipramine for treating depression:  randomized controlled trial,”  BMJ, Vol 321(7260), 2000, pp.536-9
K. Linde, “St. John’s Wort for depression:  an overview and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials,”  BMJ, Vol 313(7052), 1996, pp. 253-8
U. Schmidt and H. Sommer, “St. John’s Wort extract in the ambulatory therapy of depression.  Attention and reaction ability are preserved,”  Fortsschr Med, Vol 111(19), 1993, pp. 339-42

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