In the News: Proven Supplements for Depression

| 3/3/2011 12:32:47 PM

L.HoltA CNN article earlier this week explored the most commonly popular supplements for depression, taking into account the body of research concerning the effectiveness of each one. Among the more effective supplements were two familiar herbs: saffron and St. John’s wort.

St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) has long been used as a treatment for depression. In 1997 it was the nation’s most popular medicinal herb. Although CNN’s report advises using St. Johns wort only for mild cases, some studies have shown this herb to be effective in more severe cases of depression, even when compared directly with pharmaceutical antidepressants (these studies are only promising, not conclusive).

St. John's wort may be an effective treatment for moderate depression.
Photo by Frank Mayfield/Courtesy

Some people choose St. John’s wort because of its relatively fewer side effects, but it is important to note that the herb may affect the metabolic rate of other medications, disrupting one or more treatments. Additionally, St. John’s wort is known to increase an individual’s likelihood of sunburn and skin rashes due to photosensitivity, especially if taken for a long period of time. As with many herbs, St. John’s wort must be taken continuously to have a significant effect: it is recommended that you allow three to six weeks before judging results, depending on the method of consumption.

How to use it: Dried St.-John’s-wort flowers can be used to make a tea; use 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried herb steeped in a cup of boiling water for ten minutes. Drinking one to two cups of tea a day for at least four weeks is recommended.

Commercial St. John’s wort extracts standardized to 0.3 percent hypericin (similar wording often appears on the label) are taken in doses of one 300 mg capsule three times a day or 3 to 4 droppers full of the tincture twice a day. It takes from three to six weeks to work; ­increasing the dose doesn’t make it work more quickly. 

Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds

click me