Effective treatment for depression: St. John's Wort.
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Depression, Mental (Diagnosis)
Depression, Mental (Care and treatment)
Depression, Mental (Research)
St. John's wort (Usage)
St. John's wort (Health aspects)
St. John's wort (Research)
Materia medica, Vegetable (Health aspects)
Materia medica, Vegetable (Usage)
Materia medica, Vegetable (Research)
Plant extracts (Health aspects)
Plant extracts (Usage)
Plant extracts (Research)
Pub Date: 12/22/2008
Publication: Name: Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association Publisher: American Psychotherapy Association Audience: Academic; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Psychology and mental health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2008 American Psychotherapy Association ISSN: 1535-4075
Issue: Date: Winter, 2008 Source Volume: 11 Source Issue: 4
Topic: Event Code: 310 Science & research
Geographic: Geographic Scope: Germany; United States Geographic Code: 4EUGE Germany; 1USA United States
Accession Number: 192800778
Full Text: [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

All who have known someone suffering from depression are aware of the toll the disease and the medication can take on the victim. Now those living with symptoms of depression may find relief through taking St. John's wort.

German researchers performed 29 total trials on 5,489 individuals presenting with symptoms of depression. Using the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, participants were asked to rate the severity of their depression after taking various treatments. Results showed that the extract was as effective as other antidepressants, and it also had fewer side effects.

While the study results are promising, the big picture is somewhat more difficult to assess due to "the fact that the results were more favourable in trials conducted in German speaking countries, where St. John's extracts have a long tradition and are often prescribed by doctors."

The study, however, is a step in the right direction. Though, consumers should be warned that purchasing just any generic type of St. John's wort may not be the answer.

Klaus Linde, lead researcher from the Centre for Complementary Medicine in Munich, Germany, stated, "Using a St. John's wort extract might be justified, but products on the market vary considerably, so these results only apply to the preparations tested."

Wiley-Blackwell. (2008, October 13). St. John's Wort relieves symptoms of major depression, study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2008, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081007192435.htm

MCT Illustration by Kathy Hagedorn/Akron Beacon Journal
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