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I have search for a year or two for a combination of herbs that would lift day time depression without keeping me awake at night. St. John's Wort taken on its own, even in relatively low doses gave me really bad insomnia, even though it did help to lift my depression. I found myself literally bouncing with life at three in the morning. This is great on the odd ocassion but in the long term it would certainly have caused me health problems. I couldn't get rid of the problem even by taking the pills early at a very low dose. After painting a ceiling at 4am one morning I decided to give up on these. I recently tried a combination of St. Wort and Kava Kava called St. Kava. This plant combination gives a sense of calm and peacefulness and is useful if you are anxious or nervous. Kava Kava is a plant found in Polynesia and Australia. It is a member of the pepper family and has long, spikey flowers. The roots provide the active ingredients for this remedy. Kava Kava is made into a psychotropic liquor in the Polynesian Islands and has real mind altering effects taken in this concentrated form. However, the tablet form which is available in health food shops has a less dramatic effect. It helps to relax the body and relieve stress, thus aiding restful sleep. When taken in conjunction with St. John's Wort the effect is one of calming the body and lifting the spirits. I found this preparation very helpful when taken first thing in the morning. If I take it later in the day I can't sleep. The main side effects that I noticed were severe indigestion (relieved by two Bisodol tablets!) and a tendency to pass a lot of water. Apparently Kava Kava is a diuretic too. The cost? Well it depends where you buy these. I paid £3.29 for 50 tablets and I take one a day at present. I may increase the dose later but I want to see how they affect me first. Neither St.John's Wort nor Kava Kava should be taken if you are on any other medication particularly anti-depressants of any kind. Ask your doctor first if you do take prescription drugs!
St. John's Wort and Kava Kava Root have been widely published as an aid to reducing stress from day-to-day life.