Herbal Remedies for Depression

St. John’s Wort is one of the best natural herbal remedies for depression.

New research provides support for the use of St. John’s wort extracts in treating major depression. A Cochrane Systematic Review backs up previous research that showed the plant extract is effective in treating mild to moderate depressive disorders.

“Overall, we found that the St. John’s wort extracts tested in the trials were superior to placebos and as effective as standard antidepressants, with fewer side effects,” says lead researcher, Klaus Linde of the Centre for Complementary Medicine in Munich, Germany.

The full article can be found at Medical News Today

But beware of taking natural herbal remedies like St. John’s Wort together with other medications!

St. John’s wort and Echinacea, two widely-used herbal preparations, have been found to increase activity of a specific enzyme in the liver and intestine, an enzyme involved in the metabolization of roughly one in every four pharmaceutical drugs on the market today, reports a clinical pharmacologist at Indiana University School of Medicine.

Metabolizing pharmaceuticals too slowly or too quickly can cause drug toxicity and/or loss of therapeutic function. Drugs known to be affected range from oral contraceptives to antihypertension medications to drugs to prevent rejection of transplanted organs.

The full article can be found at Medical News Today

St. John’s Wort as effective as antidepressant.

According to latest research, Dr. Willmar Schwabe Pharmaceuticals’ proprietary St. John’s Wort extract WS 5570 is at least as effective and better tolerated than standard treatment with prescription antidepressant paroxetine in the treatment of moderate to severe major depression[1]. The randomised, double-blind, reference-controlled, multicentre Phase III clinical trial investigated the antidepressant efficacy of WS� 5570 and paroxetine in 251 patients with acute major depression and was published online in the British Medical Journal (http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/) today.

Depression is the most common mental disorder worldwide. It is estimated that 5.8% of men and 9.5% of women will experience a depressive episode in any given year. The lifetime risk of developing major depression is 10 – 25% for women and 5 – 12% for men. Globally, around 120 million people suffer from depression[2].

[1] Szegedi A, Kohnen R, Dienel A, Kieser M. Acute treatment of moderate to severe depression with hypericum extract WS 5570 (St John’s wort): randomised controlled double blind non-inferiority trial versus paroxetine. BMJ, doi:10.1136/bmj.38356.655266.82 (published 11 February 2005).

[2] The World health report 2001: Mental health: new understanding, new hope; World Health Organization, 2001.

The full article can be found at Medical News Today

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