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  1. #1

    St. John's Wort ?????????


    I am new to all this... so here goes!......... I have done a "self" diagnosis and have come to the conclusion I do have clinical depression. robably over the last 15 years...the last 2 have been progessively worse...overeating...drinking too much...lack of ambition etc etc... I am somewhat leary of using the prescription medications and did some research on St. John's Wort and 5-HTP. Has anyone used these and how was your experience. I have been on these for about 10 days and it seems to be working although I have had no serious "stressful" situations to deal with. i have read these herbs are pretty effective, nearly equal to prescriptions meds (minus the side effects). Any input is appreciated ... I AM new to all this.



  2. #2

    St. John's Wort ?????????

    There is some evidence that St. John's Wort may be effective for mild to moderate depression. However, it does have side effects. It is a blood thinner, and can cause your skin to be ultra sensitive to sunlight. There are also a number of relatively commonly prescribed medications the efficacy of which is affected adversely by taking St. John's Wort, so if you're taking any other medications under a doctor's care, don't neglect to talk to the doctor about taking St. John's Wort.

    Another problem with these "natural" remedies is that the making of them is not well controlled. The amount of effective ingredient in one brand vs another brand is often very different. To my knowledge, there have been no in-depth studies to provide knowledge as to how much is effective, how much is too much, and how much is not enough. I think there may be some studies ongoing, but no clear picture is yet to emerge. It's something to think about.

  3. #3

    St. John's Wort ?????????

    There's more information on this under "Alternative Medications".

    Honestly, there were reports from European studies that it was effective for mild depression. However, I have never seen it do anything beneficial whatsoever. A more recent large-scale study in the US by NIMH found little or no benefits.

    If ANY "natural" medication works, it's because it alters neurochemistry. But in most cases, it doesn't do so very efficiently (i.e., at best you're getting a weak effect). If you think you need this sort of medication, why not take the real deal? Why mess with something that may be largely a placebo? "Natural" does NOT mean safe, or free of side-effects, or effective.

    At least with prescrioption medications, you can be confident about quality control...

  4. #4

    St. John's Wort ?????????

    Thanks....although I would like to hear from actual users of St. Johns Wort..... We are all predipositioned to whatever we are taught in school, at I want to hear from the "horses mouth" so to speak...

    not to be ungrateful though!...thanks for your replies ... they are appreciated.

  5. #5

    St. John's Wort ?????????

    Hi g,

    Welcome to this forum. Here are my two bits:

    Years ago I worked in a health food store and sold herbal stuff. I've also had depression for years. I have never found an herbal treatment that worked for me. The third prescribed SSRI did work however and is still working after many years. I hope you will soon find an effective treatment for yourself.

  6. #6

    St. John's Wort ?????????

    Quote Originally Posted by gshutts
    Thanks....although I would like to hear from actual users of St. Johns Wort..... We are all predipositioned to whatever we are taught in school, at I want to hear from the "horses mouth" so to speak...
    The clients I mentioned who tried St. John's Wort and were not helped were "actual users". This has nothing to do with preconceptions or "whatever we are taught in school". I would love to learn of a non-traditional remedy that actually works for my clients who have difficulty tolerating conventional medicine. In a similar vein, the NIMH study I mentioned that was unable to find any significant benefits was an unbiased study, not funded by or influenced at all by the pharmaceutical industry.

    If you are suspicious of those data, feel free to give it a try and report back.

  7. #7

    St. John's Wort ?????????

    Thank seems I may be barking up the wrong tree so to speak. I am going to try this stuff for 3 more weeks (5 total) ..mainly because I have a whole bottle.. if it does not seem to work .. I will try an SSRi...
    Thanks again!


  8. #8

    St. John's Wort ?????????

    Hi George,

    I tried St. John's Wart for about a year. There were times when I thought MAYBE it was working... especially to help deal with insomnia-type symptoms. I have to agree with everyone else that the amount of effective ingredient is not regulated enough. I never switched brands, I always stayed with the same one, and I'd have to say that even within the same brand I was doubtful of the quality control.

    One of the problems that I find with any psychiatric treatment is the long-term effects. I think that in the short term, many people would respond favourably to a placebo. But that doesn't solve anything in the long run, and that's what happened to me. As I got progressively worse, even on the St. John's Wart, I refused to acknowledge my decline. I increased the dosage within the allowable limits, but it took me far too long to realise that it wasn't doing anything for me anymore. For me, being on an herbal probably did more damage than good, because I spent months not getting any treatment for my worsening depression.

    Also, with the increased risk of blindness and glaucoma while being on this herbal, is it really worth it? My life isn't always perfect, but it would be a whole lot worse if I was blind...
    The road to recovery begins with the assumption that you have a right to be you. It ends when you realize that you want to be.



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