Home Add to Favorite Contact Submit  
             29 March, 2020

Category:  Articles » Health & Fitness » Depression


6 Reasons For Consulting With Your Doctor Before Taking St. John's Wort

         Views: 1386
2007-08-11 17:32:56     
Article by John Young

I was first diagnosed as having clinical depression ten years ago by a marriage counselor who recognized that I had reached a psychological state in which I felt that "things were getting steadily worse" and that I no longer enjoyed activities that I used to like to do. I was also having fits of temper which seemingly came out of nowhere and had problems with sleeping and memory loss.

The counselor sent me to a psychiatrist who immediately recognized the symptoms of clinical depression. He prescribed Prozac.

"You'll have to take this for at least a couple of weeks before you see any results," he cautioned.

I was thankful for his cautionary advice - and not so thankful for the fact that he failed to tell me about the side effects of Prozac. While I began to feel more "peaceful", my sexual libido instantaneously dropped to zero.

My wife "wanted her husband back". Yes, somehow he had disappeared, to be replaced by a kind of detached Buddha with no sexual interest whatsoever.

I began to despair. Wasn't there a single antidepressant out there that didn't have moderate to serious side effects connected with it? I began to ask around, and a friend introduced me to St. John's Wort.

I noticed an immediate effect. My mental outlook drastically improved. I began to enjoy life again, and my fits of anger disappeared. And best of all, there were no side effects.

None that I could detect anyway.

Was this the panacea for depression, I wondered? The magical cure everyone could take without fear?

It has seemed that way for awhile...


Clinical depression has been traditionally attributed to a depletion of serotonin in the cells responsible for neural transmission, known as chemical synapses. These are gaps across which neurons signal each other, a process that involves serotonin, one of the three monoamine neurotransmitters in the nervous system. Neurotransmitters are synthesized by the presynaptic neural cell (the one that precedes the gap) to communicate with the post synaptic cell (which follows the gap).

It follows that once the neurotransmitter has been synthesized and accomplished its task of communication; it needs to be absorbed so that it won't go on stimulating the postsynaptic cell. This absorption is known as "uptake" or "reuptake".

Three types of monoamine neurotransmitters have been identified: norepinephrine NE, dopamine DA, and serotonin 5- HT. A drop in the level of serotonin was usually identified with clinical depression and is caused by abnormal uptake. Recent research has been showing that the cause of depression may be considerably more complicated, involving the other neurotransmitters, hormones and the immune system.

Serotonin levels have been traditionally enhanced by the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) such as Prozac.


For the past several years depression sufferers and the mainstream medical community have increasingly recognized that St. John's Wort is effective in treating clinical depression.

Until recently, nobody knew how it worked.

In a recent study, St John's Wort has been shown to influence serotonin and noradrenaline in the forebrain of the limbic brain circuits, an area that controls mood. Researchers in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Frankfurt in Germany have observed that St. John's Wort increases the effectiveness of norepinephrine, dopamine, L-glutamate, and gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA), as well as serotonin; in other words, it has a "broad uptake profile".

In short, it may be more effective than the SSRI's.


In double-blind studies, research in Missouri has shown that of the 43 people taking St. John's Wort, 84 per cent reported an improved mood, while 47 percent reported SSRI type side effects, such as

• mental confusion
• nausea
• cardiovascular and motor abnormalities
• food-drug interactions
• withdrawal symptoms
• depressive relapse

Of the twelve percent who discontinued use, 13 people experienced withdrawal symptoms, and 1 reported to the Emergency Room


In addition, taking St. John's Wort concurrently with one of the SSRI's may result in a serotonin overload.


Taking it with other drugs can reduce the drugs' effectiveness. St. John's Wort has been shown to activate a set of enzymes in the liver which is used to break down many substances.

One should not suddenly stop St. John's Wort if it is being taken with other drugs, because the drug level in the bloodstream can become dangerously elevated. The herb and the drug need to be carefully adjusted and balanced with the help of your physician.


It has long been known that skin sensitivity to sunlight is a side effect of St. John's Wort. Just be careful about sun exposure. Use a lot of sun block, a hat, and a long sleeved shirt while in the sun.


St John's Wort has been shown to trigger mania in people with bi-polar syndrome, and can result in psychosis, according to a recent study by researchers in Amsterdam.


So far no studies have been made to determine the effect of St. John's Wort on pregnancy. Until studies have been made, it seems only wise to avoid taking the herb during pregnancy.


The good news is that double-blind clinical studies have definitely established St. John's Wort as effective in alleviating mild to moderate clinical depression, and the side effects, for those who do experience them, are similar to SSRI's. Drastic side effects are experienced only in a very small number of cases.

The bottom line is that it's probably best to consult with your physician before taking St. John's Wort, especially if you are taking other drugs. With the herb's new found credibility, your doctor will take it seriously and be more than happy to advise you and monitor your usage of St. John's Wort.

John Young is a writer and editor with a technical background living in Southern California. He has launched two health related ezines: The Natural Health Zone, http://www.health-medicine-alternatives.com and Heal Stress, Anxiety and Panic Attacks Now! http://www.healanxietynow.com

Specialized in: Free Productivity - Stress Management - Relief - Symptom - Anxiety - Disorder - Anxiety Attack - Treatment - Depression - Medication - Panic Attack - Symptoms - Cause - Causes
URL: http://www.healanxietynow.com
Print article      Bookmark this page
Related Articles 
Childhood Depression (Popularity: ): It is a fact that depression afflicts millions of people every day and that includes children. Perhaps, some people do not acknowledge this fact since children are typically viewed as leading stress-free lives since all they have to do is study, eat, and play. This is a wrong perception since a child's life can also be very stressful that can cause depression in many children around the world. Usually, adults ...
Helping a Depressed Friend (Popularity: ): Because of the high rate of depression in the country right now, you will most likely know someone experiencing clinical depression. When you are faced with a person who you believe is in this situation, do you know what to do?It is important for everyone to know how to handle people with clinical depression. You never know, you might be the person who saved someone from suicide.If a friend of ...
Seasonal Affective Disorder Treatments (Popularity: ): When searching for and using SAD disorder treatments you should take into account what side affects you may encounter. You maybe should way up the odds regarding the way Sad /seasonal affective disorder affects your life and how your are managing to cope with it, and whether or not you could cope without any disorder treatment or not.Most SAD sufferers are fine through the summer months,but as the nights draw ...
Herbs For High Blood Pressure - Do They Really Work? (Popularity: ): Most high blood pressure sufferers can't stand the unpleasant side effects of their prescription medications. That's why so many of them are trying natural herbal cures. It's said these cures can reduce blood pressure effectively, safely, and without side effects. But do herbs for high blood pressure really work?Hawthorne Berry: This herb is hugely popular in Europe as a heart tonic. It has a reputation for strengthening the heart's pumping ...
Bipolar Depression - Understanding The Syndrome (Popularity: ): Bipolar depression is the term used to refer to the disorder characterized by major swings in a person's mood. At one moment he may feel elated and confident, and shortly afterward the feeling abruptly changes to one of defeat and failure. The experience is similar to those occasions when one's feelings of well-being and happiness turn sour at a sudden turn of events or circumstances. The difference is that in ...

Related Business 
Flowers, John - Web Doctor John (Popularity: ): Offers design, maintenance, and consulting services.
Island Brewing Co. (Popularity: ): Producer of the Wort Wizard, a device to pump and aerate the wort. Also offering other brewing equipment.
Kelly's St. John's Wort (Popularity: ): Personal experience of writer and other people on treating their depression with this herb. Non-commercial, no advertising. Includes general information, cautions and side effects, discussion forum with many posts.
GuanYun Bio-Science and Technology Co.,Ltd. (Popularity: ): Manufacturer offering extracts and their derivatives, of chondratin, chitosan, bear gallbladder and St.John's wort. Includes specifications for pharmaceutical, industrial and agricultural grades, references, and contacts in China.
Hypericum and Depression (Popularity: ): Extensive collection of information on depression and the use of Hypericum, or St John's Wort.
7 Reasons (Popularity: ): Our website is chiefly concerned with providing humorous perspectives on a wide variety of topics. We do this in the form of an argument, pro or anti something, providing seven reasons to support that argument. We use seven reasons because it is the right amount to support an argument. A smaller amount of reasons would be too few, and a greater number of reasons would be too many.
Doctor Adelaide (Popularity: ): What most people want is a reliable doctor. If you come to Doctor Adelaide, that is exactly what you will get. Whether you want a small local practice, or you prefer to go to a larger corporate medical centre, they are here at Doctor Adelaide.
Inbound Order Taking Services (Popularity: ): Order taking service is essential in businesses that do not need face-to-face interaction. So start building your business now with order taking service. Keywords: inbound order taking, order taking, order taking service.
John D Pigott MD MHA (Popularity: ): A New Orleans, Louisiana doctor for cardiovascular and cardiothoracic surgery.
Doctor Who Information Network (Popularity: ): Founded in 1980 and continues to serve hundreds of fans in Canada, the U.S.A. and other countries around the world. It was one of the first Doctor Who clubs in North America, and is the longest running Doctor Who club on the continent.