St. John's Wort and Depression
Posted Friday, October 10, 2008

 


 

A new study from the Cochrane Systematic Review has found that St. John's Wort extracts are effective in reducing the symptoms of major depressive disorders. St. John's Wort had previously been shown to successfully treat individuals suffering from minor to mild depressive symptoms, but until now it was not clear if the herb would be useful in more severe cases.

The review, performed by scientists from the University Medical Center Freiburg and the Technical University of Munich, examined previous trials with over 5,000 patients who had symptoms of major depression. St. John's Wort extracts were found to be as effective as standard antidepressants and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), but with fewer side effects, which in turn allowed patients to stick with the treatment. The drop out rate for those taking the extract was 76% lower than for patients taking tricyclic and tetracyclic antidepressant, and 47% lower than those taking SSRIs.

British manufactures have already been granted the right to claim that St. John's Wort can help "low mood" and "mild anxiety", and as more studies are underway, we may see a similar grant here in the States.

Here is some reading material for further info:
Cochrane Reviews
WebMD
Medical News Today

 

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