A growing number of depression patients are enthusiastic about using herbal depression medicine rather than prescription drugs to treat their condition. While herbal treatment for depression is oftentimes not necessarily proven to work the herbal depression medicine St Johns Wort is alone that’s been shown to have a positive influence on certain kinds of depression. So a deeper review with this herbal treatment for depression is warranted.
St Johns Wort (Hypericum Perforatum), also referred to as goats weed, is really a perennial herb with small yellow flowers that originally stems from Europe but was also introduced to the American continent. The plant derives its name from the old tradition of harvesting its flowers on St. Johns’s day (June 24th). The herb is toxic to grazing animals and invasively replaces other plants wherever it grows. Thus, or even actively grown as herbal depression medicine, it is often controlled by the use of herbicides or by biological means. The utilization of St Johns Wort as a therapeutic plant is documented since antiquity, with the first recorded mentioning being an herbal treatment for depression in the 17th century. Today St Johns Wort extracts, mostly in the form of pills and tablets, and in certain instances, teas are used as herbal depression medicine and as a treatment for anxiety. Especially in Europe, and specifically, in the German-speaking countries there’s a lengthy tradition of prescribing this herbal depression medicine rather than prescription drugs for mild cases of depression, whilst in the US there’s still some skepticism from medical professionals.
A sizable number of clinical studies have repeatedly shown that St Johns Wort is as effective as standard prescription medicine and far more advanced than placebo in coping with mild to moderate depression. Herbalcase Furthermore, this herbal treatment for depression showed an improved complication profile than conventional antidepressants. However, other clinical studies on the use of St Johns Wort as a treatment for moderate to severe depression showed no significant aftereffect of the drug. Overall, this indicates this herbal depression medicine is a treatment of preference for minor depression, however, not for more severe cases where more traditional approaches are indicated. As may be the case with prescription antidepressants the exact mode of action through which St Johns Wort works is unknown. However, it is thought that the herb and specifically its active compounds hyperforin and hypericin, and others behave as serotonin reuptake inhibitors. As is the case with herbal extracts the quality of St Johns Wort extracts can vary significantly based on where the plant was grown and the way the extract was derived at and purified. This has obviously implications for clinical studies and for the individual patient taking this herbal depression medicine. Thus, if an individual is successfully using one St Johns Wort-based brand of the merchandise he is advised not to switch to other brands. St Johns Wort is generally well tolerated, though negative effects such as tiredness, sedation, confusion, photosensitivity, and stomach pain have already been reported. This herbal depression medicine also interacts with contraceptives in addition to with several other drugs, usually decreasing the aftereffect of those drugs.