There are a many gifts that nature has to offer to treat our health ailments. The effectiveness of herbs, vitamins or minerals for a particular health issue can range from “miracle-status” at best, to completely useless at worst. In many cases, the best that nature has to offer can’t compete with modern medicines in terms of absolute potency and magnitude of effectiveness, while at other times natural remedies actually beat the pants off pharmaceutical drugs in both effectiveness and fewer number of side effects. One such “miracle” example will be discussed in this article where we’ll be talking about advancements made to an old but savagely effective depression killer – quality extracts of St. John’s Wort.

It is estimated that nearly 1 in 10 people are being treated with anti-depressant medications for clinical depression and a University of Toronto Study found a 353% increase in anti-depressant prescriptions between 1981 and 2000. Fluoxetine (more commonly called Prozac) remains one of the most popular medications for combating depression with over 24 million prescriptions being doled out in the US in 2010. Unfortunately (and as you may expect), Prozac and other drugs in its class have an extensive series of adverse effects including sexual dysfunction, nausea, insomnia, anxiety, and even increases the risk of suicide and self-harm.

Let’s get down to the details shall we! As a natural substance, St. John’s Wort does vary in both potency and concentration of standardized constituents so it’s important to choose a high quality St. John’s Wort that has undergone extensive study and thorough testing to ensure it will have the intended effect.

2 constituents from St. John’s Wort are known to be responsible for the anti-depressant activity – hyperforin and hypericin. Hyperforin and hypericin has been shown to inhibit the re-uptake of serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline to a greater degree than conventional SSRI medications like Prozac (which typically only affect serotonin). These combined actions keep your “happy hormones” circulating in the nervous system much longer and for years have been effective in treating mild to moderate depressive disorders. Recently however, an analysis of 29 clinical trials with upwards of 5000 test subjects was reviewed by the Cochrane Collaboration and concluded that high-quality St. John’s Wort extracts were superior to placebo in major depressive disorder with a similar efficacy to standard anti-depressant medications . The National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and other organizations such as the National Institue of Health maintain that St. John’s Wort has minimal to no side effects beyond placebo.

Therapeutics dosages can vary depending on upon the desired response so it is wise to consult with an expert before starting a supplementation program and to ensure your medical history is compatible with the usage of St John’s Wort. Furthermore, adjunctive therapies involving the use of specific omega 3 fatty acid ratios and complementary herbs have demonstrated further clinical results for depression. We’re HUGE fans of quality St. John’s Wort extracts to say the least. Should you need more information you know where to find us! Thanks for reading.