St Johns Wort for Depression and Anxiety

In the long line of treatments for depression, one of the most successful natural answers has turned out to be St. John’s Wort. While many health care providers are leery of suggesting St Johns Wort for Depression and anxiety, they also have trouble denying that many depressives find relief with this natural remedy.

Most antidepressants are known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, also referred to as SSRIs. Their job is to increase the levels of serotonin in the body and prevent them from being reabsorbed quickly. This is what antidepressants do; they work so that the chemicals that are imbalanced will be rebalanced.

St. John’s Wort does the same thing only it does so naturally. St John’s Wort is a plant that is also called hypericum perforatum. From this plant comes hypericin and that is the part that is known to have positive effects for those suffering from depression or anxiety.

In studies conducted using St. John’s Wort with one group and antidepressants with another, it was found that those who used just St Johns Wort had at least as much relief from the symptoms of depression as did those using prescription medications. They also tended to have fewer side effects.

Unfortunately since researchers are often reluctant to push natural remedies so far all the studies done have been short term and with small groups of patients. Still, the results have been continually positive. Other studies have been conducted with the older types of antidepressants and here again the natural method came out on top with fewer side effects and as good control.

The thing that bothers both researchers and health care providers is that they do not completely understand how or why it works. It is believed that it somehow affects the serotonin, noradrenaline or dopamine absorption not unlike the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in antidepressants.

Like anything new introduced into the body one must be cautious. There are also possible reactions even to natural remedies. So, before deciding to take St, John’s Wort you should talk briefly to your health care provider. This is especially necessary if you are taking medication for any other preexisting condition. It’s possible that the two will not mix well. Very few people have other side effects from this natural remedy but if they do it is usually a temperature sensitivity or rarely a sensitively to the sun.

Another thing that bothers health care providers about their patients using natural remedies is that they feel that those who work in the stores that sell them tend to give advice on dosage without benefit from any medical training and this concerns them.

So, if you want to try a natural remedy for depression talking to your health care provider should always be a first step. They may not agree with your choice but they will give you guidelines on dosages. That advice and some research on your own should help you to decide if trying St. John’s Wort for anxiety is a good idea for you.

Page Updated: November 11, 2016
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