Re: Uses for St. John's Wort? By: prsona / Knowledgeable
Post # 2 Apr 25, 2018
Saint John's Wort is very well-known for helping to alleviate some symptoms associated with depression. It is not a cure, and though it has a lot of correlations with helping people improve, there are many reasons the medical community is hesitant to call it an actual medicinal treatment.
One reason that it is not recognized by the FDA as a medicinal treatment for depression is that there is little difference shown between placebo and actual herbal content in blind studies. That said, most of these treatments last a few weeks, typically up to a month. Most people report improvements after at least six weeks of continual usage. Again, however, this should not be considered medical advice. It does support the idea that most studies, being limited in scope, might be missing the time required. Not to mention, too many people expect a treatment, whether or not it is government approved, to work immediately.
Additionally, it cannot be expected to fully alleviate symptoms of depression. It may help a person's mood level out a little. But it will not make the depression go away.
The way it is believed to work is by helping the body regulate production of melatonin. Melatonin imbalance is believed to contribute to some aspects or types of depression (yes, there are different kinds!). However, it is not the only known contributing factor. Physical activity, a well-balanced social life, time in the sun, a well-balanced diet, and other specific nutrients and hormones all contribute.
In addition to something like St. John's Wort, many people would suggest making sure that there is adequate intake of magnesium and iodine, along with vitamin D, or the nutrients the body needs to better synthesize vitamin D from spending time in the sun.
Some things to be concerned about while taking St. John's Wort is that it does have known interactions with some supplements and medications, both prescription-based and over-the-counter. So at the very least, I would suggest doing more than just a little research on the matter, as well as consulting your physician for advice on the matter.
If you choose to try the herb for sleep help, by all means! Do some reading, and go for it if everything seems to be safe together.
If you choose to try it to help alleviate symptoms of depression, again, do research. But do more than take the herb and expect it to make everything all better. Create a routine of activity. Spend time outside. Set goals to accomplish, and stick to the plan. Don't make goals too lofty, and set goals associated with achievement outdoors. Spending time in nature is always an excellent, easy goal. An hour walked on a day off can do wonders. Maybe look into other supplements, but again, do research; not all magnesium compounds can be used by the body. Some 'vitamins' on the market are repackaged industrial waste, which will simply pass through your system and turn your pee bright colors.
As for making tea, I will warn you that it is bitter. I've forced St. John's Wort tea down my throat a few times before, and got sort of used to it. My preferred method was to dissolve a gel cap of pulverized herbs, then chug it.
Re: Uses for St. John's Wort? By: LigaGosnih / Novice
Post # 5 Apr 26, 2018
It may also have the opposite desired affect. Researchers have found that it may cause anxiety, panic attacks, dizziness, nausea and spikes in blood pressure. This is according to the Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology publication.
I've found, for me at least, taking Vitamins D3, B Complex, Calcium, L-Theanine, and Melatonin on a daily regiment has helped steady my moods.
I have taken St. John's Wort in the past with limited changes and nothing significant enough to say it worked.
So I'm saying that maybe you should talk to a doctor and learn what your body is missing and see if changing that helps any. If you do decide to take it, make sure you research the individual supplier of that vitamin/extract and make sure they are safe to take. Also dosage should be considered. For instance, half the recommended dose of melatonin is enough for me, but I have to take twice the amount of calcium and D3. The dosage will be individual to you and should also be discussed with your doctor.
I've also found, for me, that being honest about my moods both in and outside of therapy had helped immensely with my ability to cope with them. As well as figuring out what works for me and what doesn't.