An increasing amount of depression patients are enthusiastic about using herbal depression medicine rather than prescription drugs to treat their condition. While herbal treatment for depression is in many cases not necessarily proven to work the herbal depression medicine St Johns Wort is the only person that has been shown to have a positive effect on certain forms of depression. So a closer review of the 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, if not actively grown as herbal depression medicine, it is often controlled by the utilization of herbicides or by biological means. The use of St Johns Wort as a medical plant is documented since antiquity, with the very first recorded mentioning as an herbal treatment for depression in the 17th century. Today St Johns Wort extracts, mostly in the shape of pills and tablets, and in some 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 is an extended tradition of prescribing this herbal depression medicine rather than prescription drugs for mild cases of depression, within the US there is still some skepticism from medical professionals.
A big amount of clinical studies have repeatedly shown that St Johns Wort is really as effective as standard prescription medicine and far better than placebo in working with mild to moderate depression. Additionally, this herbal treatment for depression showed a much better side effect profile than conventional antidepressants. However, other clinical studies on the utilization of St Johns Wort as a treatment for moderate to severe depression showed no significant aftereffect of the drug. All in all, this indicates this herbal depression medicine is a treatment of choice for minor depression, although not for more severe cases where more traditional approaches are indicated. As may be the case with prescription antidepressants the actual mode of action by which St Johns Wort works is unknown. Herbalcase However, it is believed that the herb and specifically its active compounds hyperforin and hypericin, and others become serotonin reuptake inhibitors. As is the case with herbal extracts the quality of St Johns Wort extracts may vary significantly depending on where in fact the plant was grown and how a extract was derived at and purified. It has needless to say implications for clinical studies and for the average person patient taking this herbal depression medicine. Thus, if a patient is successfully using one St Johns Wort-based make of the item he is recommended not to switch to other brands. St Johns Wort is normally well tolerated, though side effects such as for instance tiredness, sedation, confusion, photosensitivity, and stomach pain have now been reported. This herbal depression medicine also interacts with contraceptives in addition to with several other drugs, usually decreasing the aftereffect of those drugs.