A growing number of depression patients are interested in using herbal depression medicine rather than prescription drugs to deal with their condition. While herbal treatment for depression is oftentimes not necessarily proven to be effective the herbal depression medicine St Johns Wort is the only person that has been shown to truly have a positive influence on certain forms of depression. So a deeper review of this herbal treatment for depression is warranted.
St Johns Wort (Hypericum Perforatum), also known as goats weed, is 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 utilization of herbicides or by biological means. The usage of St Johns Wort as a healing plant is documented since antiquity, with the very 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 utilized as herbal depression medicine and as cure for anxiety. Especially in Europe, and particularly, in the German-speaking countries there’s a long tradition of prescribing this herbal depression medicine rather than prescription drugs for mild cases of depression, within the US there’s still some skepticism from medical professionals.
A large number of clinical studies have repeatedly shown that St Johns Wort can be as effective as standard prescription medicine and far more advanced than placebo in dealing with mild to moderate depression. Furthermore, this herbal treatment for depression showed an improved side-effect profile than conventional antidepressants. Herbalcase However, other clinical studies on the utilization of St Johns Wort as cure for moderate to severe depression showed no significant effect of the drug. In general, this indicates that this herbal depression medicine is cure of choice for minor depression, however, not for more severe cases where more traditional approaches are indicated. As could be the case with prescription antidepressants the precise mode of action through which St Johns Wort works is unknown. However, it is believed that the herb and particularly its active compounds hyperforin and hypericin, and others act as serotonin reuptake inhibitors. As is the case with herbal extracts the caliber of St Johns Wort extracts may vary significantly depending on where in actuality the plant was grown and how a extract was derived at and purified. This has obviously implications for clinical studies and for the patient patient taking this herbal depression medicine. Thus, if someone is successfully using one St Johns Wort-based make of the product he is preferred not to change to other brands. St Johns Wort is normally well tolerated, though side effects such as tiredness, sedation, confusion, photosensitivity, and stomach pain have been reported. This herbal depression medicine also interacts with contraceptives along with with various other drugs, usually decreasing the effect of those drugs.