St. Johns Wort is an excellent homeopathical way in which to treat depression. This is a bright yellow flower with ray-like petals that make it look like a sun. Sometimes this plant is also known as Klamath weed or Goat Weed. It is indigenous to Europe but has since been introduced in the United States where it grows wild in a lot of meadows. Today, this plant is grown commercially in Europe.
St Johns Wort has been used for hundreds of years in the treatment of depression as it is highly respected for its anti-depressant effects. The use of St Johns Wort as an antidepressant dates back to ancient Greece, but Native Americans also used it. Besides being useful in treating mild to moderate depression, St Johns Wort is also useful in treating unrest, anxiety and nerve pain as well. This is because of its sedative qualities, which have been proven to the point that today, some insurance companies are even covering this supplement.
While this is not a powerful drug, in the sense that it won’t bring you a quick recovery, but it does have excellent long-term results. Nevertheless, studies have proven that if a person is suffering from mild to moderate depression taking a minimum of 300mg of St. Johns Wort, three times a day, will dramatically help a person. Other studies have shown that 1800 mg per day is more effective. Either way, this is equivalent to taking between 0.4 and 2.7 mg of an antidepressant medication daily.
This is why in some countries, such as Germany, St Johns Wort is actually prescribed far more commonly than synthetic antidepressant medications when it comes to treating depression. Most likely, the effectiveness of this herb is due to its involvement in inhibiting Serotonin reuptake, which is what conventional SSRI antidepressants actually do. The major active constituents in this herb include hyperforin, hypericin, flavonoids, tannins, and possibly a few other biologically active constituents.
This supplement can be taken as an herbal tea (this is made from its flowers and roots), which has a pleasant, although somewhat bitter, taste. It can also be taken in the form of a pill or capsule. It will take at least one week to see any improvement in a person’s condition. The nice thing is that this treatment can be continued for a long period of time since the herb usually does not have any side effects.
However, if you are on other medications (i.e. cancer drugs, HIV drugs, or contraceptive pills), you will need to check with your doctor prior to taking St Johns Wort since this herb can strongly interact with these other medications. For instance, one type of reaction that you may encounter is skin sensitivity when you are in the sun. Therefore, when taking this supplement you should stay out of the sun as much as possible.
When everything is taken into consideration, medical doctors strongly feel that St Johns Wort is a safe and effective herb that can be used to treat mild to moderate forms of depression.