Have you heard about the benefits of St John’s Wort for depression?
At long last the mainstream media are highlighting the dangers of widespread prescribing of antidepressant drugs. Recent television news items have focussed on the steadily increasing numbers of New Zealanders (around one in ten) taking drugs for depression. Even more alarming, prescription antidepressants for children are a fast growing area of the pharmaceutical industry.
A meta-analysis of research studies covering common antidepressant drugs fluoxetine (prozac), paroxetine (aropax), venlafaxine (efexor) and nefadazone (serzone ) has found that in cases of mild to moderate depression, there is little difference in symptom improvement from taking these drugs compared to a placebo sugar pill.
Not only are these drugs ineffective at treating depression, they each cause a number of adverse effects which are often treated with more drugs. Introducing children to the destructive cycle of medical drug dependency has little in common with promoting healthy outcomes.
Doctors who prescribe SSRI antidepressant drugs such as Prozac or Citralopram often warn against taking the medicinal herb St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) at the same time, because the interaction of the two could lead to excessive and dangerous levels of serotonin being produced. This is because they know St John’s Wort is a proven serotonin promoter. Comparative research has found that St John’s Wort is at least as effective in treating depression, and without the adverse effects of Prozac, Citalopram or a list of other drugs it has been tested against. Surely the safer course of action is to reverse the doctor’s warning and take St John’s Wort instead of the drugs.
St John’s Wort is one of the best clinically tested herbs in the world and it gets best results in cases of chronic mild to moderate depression. It is safer, less expensive and just as effective as conventional anti-depressants. Most importantly, it causes none of the adverse effects of anti-depressant drugs such as anxiety, weight loss, sleeplessness and loss of sexual desire.
By Carolyn Simon, Naturopath
A range of quality St John’s Wort supplements are available for secure order from our online shop. All NZ’s leading brands are stocked, including Thompson’s, Healtheries and Kira, and all of our prices are below NZ RRP.
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