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St. John's Wort

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  • Can effect other medication
  • can prevent medications from working, e.g. the contraceptive pill
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      10.02.2012 22:25
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      Very good in certain circumstances, but should always check with a doctor first.

      It's been a few years since I used St Johns Wort last, but I have to say that I still think it a very excellent product and would recommend it to anyone who is struggling a bit with mild depression and doesn't want to go down the route of prescribed medication. ~*~Background~*~ My personal background with depression is that I can't tolerate one particular anti-depressant and have therefore shied away from trying others as the effects of that one were so nasty. Having said that, I have only ever suffered very mild situational depression myself, which is quite different from more severe clinical depression of course. When I have struggled on a couple of occasions, I've taken St Johns Wort with my GP's blessing, and have always checked with him before starting taking it to make sure it won't interact with any of my other medications that I have. If you are suffering from depression in any form, you should start by talking to your doctor about it, and looking at ALL the options that are available to you. Depression can be a very serious and debilitating illness, and isn't something that you should self diagnose. Help can come in many forms from prescription anti-depressants to talk therapies and complimentary therapies, but it's important to discuss the options before you make any decisions which to try. ~*~What is St Johns Wort? ~*~ This yellow flowering herb is native to many parts of Europe as well as other places in the world, and it contains something called Hypericum which is the active element used in making herbal tablets, powders, capsules, oils, powders and tinctures that are sold for use in helping to combat depression and low moods. The herbal remedy that can be bought varies hugely in terms of the amount of active content, so it's very important that you look carefully at what you are buying, and choose a product which contains a regulated amount of Hypericum per tablet/capsule etc. If the product you have isn't regulated properly or only gives the levels for St Johns Wort not Hypericum, then it may not work as well as it probably doesn't contain enough of the right element to help. ~*~Cost & Availability~*~ This is a bit of a tricky one. As I've mentioned, there are many types and lots of different strengths. I personally would avoid some of the cheapest versions, and have found that Holland & Barratt, and Goldshield both do versions which I've found beneficial, though I'm sure there are plenty of other good quality brands out there. Price can be exceedingly variable even within the same brand - I've paid over £10 a bottle on occasion, and on other occasions with special offers on paid less than £5 for the same product. As an example of this Holland & Barratt's online store currently have a bottle of 100 tablets of St Johns Wort Extract capsules 900mg (standardised to contain 0.3% Hypericin 2.7mg) in stock for £6.99 and the same product in a 200 tablet bottle will cost you £23.99 - more than 3x the price! ~*~How well it worked for me~*~ I personally found that a regular dose of St Johns Wort was very helpful in getting me through some fairly low patches at times. I've never taken it for more than a few months at a time, and as I say I've always spoken to a doctor first. The initial thing with taking this rather than a prescribed anti-depressant for me was to avoid the potential side effects I'd experienced once before, I was aware however that I might still experience some problems, and so was careful to monitor myself and to read literature before beginning taking it. When I did begin taking this, I didn't experience the sleepy dopey feeling that I've had (and seen others suffer with) that often comes with beginning on anti-depressants. For me this is a real plus as I want to feel better, not begin by sleeping constantly (and on at least one occasion when I was struggling sleeping a lot was certainly NOT an option). I guess it took about 3-4 weeks before I started to notice any lift in mood, and it was certainly a gradual thing. I didn't suddenly feel 'wellest' or even 'weller' than I had before, it was just a general feeling of not dreading opening my eyes in the morning, and as if the world wasn't quite as dark a place as it had been. Overall, for me this has at times been a very good way of coping with situations while waiting for those situations to improve or change. It has lifted my mood and made me feel I could cope a lot better with things when I needed to. ~*~Side Effects I encountered~*~ I only really struggled with one side effect from the St Johns Wort, and that was that I became more sensitive to light. In the summer months I combated this by wearing sun glasses, but on one occasion when taking this, it was during winter time and I only really noticed the same side effect when it snowed and everything was bright white everywhere. Then I struggled with watery eyes and the feeling that everything was just a little bit TOO bright. I found myself squinting more and more, and my eyes ached a bit from the brightness. ~*~Do I recommend this? ~*~ If you're struggling with situational depression - i.e. a situation which is causing you to feel lower than normal, but which won't last - then I'd say this may be something you could consider trying. I would still however recommend discussing it with your own GP before you go out and buy any however, as even with herbal medications there are issues you need to be aware of and certain health conditions and other medications along side which you should never take this. If your depression is more severe, longer standing, or caused by something which isn't likely to change soon, then this may not be the right route for you to take, or alternatively you may need some form of therapy to go along side it.

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        17.11.2011 22:10
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        On the fence.

        It was recommended to me a year ago to start taking St. John Wort when I was going through a difficult time in my life and suffering from a degree of depression. I didn't want to jump straight into taking anti-depressants prescribed by my doctor and I wanted to try a more natural approach first - and that is where St. John Wort was recommended to me - actually by a pharmacist. It was explained to me that it was for mild depression and that it's worth. I bought the Karma St. Johns Wort Extract tablets from Lloyds pharmacy which came in 425mg tablets and meant that I only had to take one tablet per day, preferably in the morning. The tablets were easy to take because they are fairly small and tasteless and so they are not unpleasant. My pharmacist informed me that there were no real side effects with this herbal preparation and that it could be effective yet fairly gentle. I did persevere with the preparation for about two months because I was advised that it would take about a month or so to work. It was expensive with 30 tablets costing me £21.51 - or 71p per tablet - which was more than I thought it would be when I could get a prescription for £7.40! While I didn't find there were any negative side effects to taking the St. Johns Wort, I equally found that it didn't really improve my mood significantly and for that reason I do have some doubts about their effectiveness. I don't know if it depends on the type of depression you're suffering from, but certainly it didn't do anything for me and I ended up on prescription medication which was much more successful. I do know people who this has helped and so I don't want to say that I don't recommend it, but I certainly found that it didn't work for me personally. It might be worth a try though.

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        11.09.2011 11:11
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        To be Avoided like the Plague

        I have suffered with depression for many years now starting from when I was about 14 years old, I've reached rock bottom a few times but I've never came crashing down as hard as I did when I was taking St John's Wort ... My dad is a regular shopper at the Health Shop Holland & Barrett and it was my dad who came across 'St John's Wort' on one of his visits to the shop. It was described as being a Herbal Remedy to aid Mild Depression, containing the active ingredient Hypericum Perforatum. My dad has also suffered with depression from a young age so he bought them to try for himself and he also bought some for me to try. I was about 16 or 17 years old at the time and my concerned dad was obviously trying to help me in any way he could by buying something that could possibly make me feel better. I was of course sceptical, but my dad tried hard to reassure me as he has a lot of confidence in products that are sold in Holland & Barrett and to be honest I thought what have I got to lose? St John's Wort is a plant which grows in a few different parts of the world including Europe. The active ingredient Hypericum Perforatum is thought to work in the same way as Anti-Depressant medication by effecting the level of Serotonin etc. in the brain. I had to take 1 Capsule 3 times a day with meals, as directed by the bottle the Capsules came in. This seemed like quite a high dosage to take, but since they were Herbal I wasn't that worried. For the first fortnight or so, I didn't really notice any diffference in myself apart from being a little bit more tired, but that sharp changed when suddenly I came crashing down. It was so sudden it was like a nightmare happening all too fast, my mood took an unexplainable turn for the worst, something it had never done so badly before and I was serious about killing myself. There had been no event or anything significant to cause me to feel this way, if anything things in my life had been going well. I am sure it was a result of taking St Johns Wort, but I didn't realise this straight away and continued taking it hoping it would eventually start working. But things only got worse and I struggled to want to even get out of bed, it was the worst I had even been. My mum suggested I should try stopping the St John's Wort in case that was what was causing my mood, which I did straight away. Within 2 or 3 days I had completely turned around and felt practically on top of the world, all as a result of stopping the St John's Wort. Now I have since read that it is only reccomended for those who have mild to moderate depression, so perhaps mine was too severe and that's why it didn't work? But whatever the reason, these capsules almost killed me and I think they are extremely dangerous. Even now I struggle to see how something that is supposed to aid depression could have done the opposite to such an extreme in my case. I wouldn't reccomend this to anyone, I think they are highly dangerous, it is no wonder they are an Unlicensed Remedy.

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          16.11.2010 12:04
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          A useful herb for many people, with a long history of efficacy.

          St John's wort or Hypericum Perforatum is a yellow perennial flowering herb, it is native to Europe, but now grows elsewhere too. It was traditionally harvested on St John's day, and the leaves and flowers contain glands that release a red oil when damaged. Early Christians named the plant in honour of John the Baptist, because they thought it produced this blood-red oil on the anniversary of his beheading. This herb has become best know for it's use in treating depression and low mood disorders. I'd like to start by saying that if you think that you may be suffering from true depression (in one of its many forms) please see your doctor. Depression is a serious and debilitating condition and not even prescription anti-depresants work for all sufferers. You may need a combination of medication, therapy, or even just support while you fight your way through it. Having said that despite some controversy about the efficacy of St. John's wort, there are many scientific studies which back up claims of its beneficial properties when taken for depression and feelings of anxiety, some of which are mentioned here http://www.hbcprotocols.com/prozac-for-depression.html including research by the Cochrane Collaboration, which included testing if it was 'randomized and double blind', ensuring a high level of 'validity'. Of course that does not mean that there is wholesale agreement on the use of St John's Wort in the context of depression, but this is the case with most medicines let alone herbal remedies. Just because something is a herb does not mean it is ineffective or 'hokum'. For instance Willow bark and Meadowsweet contains salicylic acid, which is extremely similar to aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) and has been used to effectively treat pain for thousands of years, Hippocrates wrote in the 5th Century of it's ability to reduce fever and pain. He also wrote that Hypericum should be used for 'nervous unrest'. Herbal remedies differ from homoeopathy in that there is a definite physical quantity involved, not an 'echo' or imprint of something diluted to thousands of parts per ml. I don't know whether homoeopathy works or not so I won't compare it unfavourably, but I do feel that herbal supplements do have a history and track record as traditional medicines. Which often on further scientific study do have a value (as mentioned above with salicylic acid). St John's wort is sold in many ways, as a tablet, capsule, oil, liquid and powder, and I'm sure if I spent ages digging I'd find other ways too.... Oh yes tea.... I have used this in capsule form and tablet (bought from Wilkinsons at about £1.50, and from Goldshield postal 'alternative' remedy purveyors, where it is more expensive) I'm sorry I don't have a container to refer to this month for precise price to dosage ratios and I can't find my usual brand online to check. I usually buy 30 tablets of 300-500mg but this product is sold virtually everywhere that you can get herbal supplements, at wildly differing prices and different strengths. My youngest daughter who can't take tablets takes it in liquid extract 500mg, at the moment -15.11.10 - this costs £2.34 for 30mls online from Holland & Barrett, I have paid as much as £6.00 for the same product in the past. I first suffered with depression after the birth of my eldest daughter as post natal depression, I was laid low by a rotten long lasting bout. It took about 2 years to start to feel normal again, partly because my G.P seemed to have never heard of or treated this strange female condition before. He kept prescribing tranquillisers, which I immediately knew were not helping as I could not stay awake, which made it harder to cope and there was no change in feelings of depression. I stopped taking them and was eventually referred to another G.P. who actually talked to me and finally prescribed anti-depressants (seroxat), which helped me get over the lip of that deep dark hole and head for the light. Although I recovered completely it seemed to leave me prone to the occasional 'bout' of milder depression. Rather than go back to my doctor I try to manage this myself - though if it seemed to be becoming more severe I would high tail it straight back to my (new and much 'better' ) doctor for support and monitoring. One of the things I have found helpful is St John's Wort. When I first started taking it I was a little sceptical as I wasn't very familiar with herbal remedies. I don't like taking prescription anti depressants if I don't have to as they iron out the (natural not hyper) highs of life as well as the lows. I feel as if I'm viewing the world through perspex, admittedly that is better than viewing it through mud coloured glasses, with the firm belief that you want nothing to do with it any more. I wondered if St John's Wort did work if it would have that same 'numbing' effect, and if it didn't was it working..... if you see what I mean. I have to say that after taking St John's Wort three times a day (300mg each dose) for about two weeks I started to notice a bit of a difference, and after about a month I was feeling more myself, and less prone to feelings of anxiety in situations that didn't really warrant it. Touch wood I have not experienced any side effects from this product. I don't take this month after month, only when I feel I may take a walk down that dark alley again, it helps to divert me and keep me on the sunny side of the street. I feel completely normal whilst taking this herb, with no sense of disassociation which can occasionally (for me) come with effexor for instance, as the advert for Borocca says, me but on a really good day. I have seen mixed comments about whether this is suitable for severe or clinical depression, the general consensus seems to be that it is mostly recommended for mild to medium forms of depression. The Cochrane collaboration however found that in a high percentage of studies that St John's Wort performed better than placebos and on a par with clinical antidepressants in major depressive illness, though they could not guarantee that some of the 'smaller' studies were not flawed. The most optimistic positive results seeming to be primarily from German speaking countries, where the herb is often prescribed by doctors as a first choice for depression, before clinical antidepressants. My daughter takes this on a more regular basis for several months at a time, with a short break before resuming the dosage. From my perspective it seems to have helped her regain a sense of perspective, and find the funny, witty, sharp as a razor girl inside again. She has had no side effects which we are aware of and I think in her case more so than my own St John's Wort has been a real boon. She will not go to the GP if it is at all avaoidable (this has been one of the facets of the problems she has been suffering), so being able to buy this over the counter has been very helpful. The most common side effect of St John's Wort but still rare is photo-sensitivity, this is mainly in the skin, and can mean you may be prone to burn or develop lesions in areas exposed to sun whereas you may normally be quite resistant to sunburn. This can be helped by using a decent high prtoection sun cream/lotion/oil. The sensitivity can also extend to the eyes, so you can either use sunglasses with a protection factor, or perhaps if you are prone to this you should consider other forms of help for depression or low mood. St John's Wort can also interact with some, including some contraceptives, and blood thinners and shouldn't be taken with other anti-depressants. Iit seems to speed up the metabolism of some drugs/hormones in the body, making them less effective, so you should mention taking this to your doctor if you are on or about to be prescribed other medication. Like almost all medication the results on individuals can vary.

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            05.09.2010 20:42
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            personally for me a good herb

            We Brits aren't known for sharing our feelings like our American cousins but that doesn't mean that sometimes we don't suffer a little depression. A lot of people still in this day and age don't like to go to the doctors with depression and they feel as if there is something to be ashamed of. There isn't. Depression can either be a symptom from a bad period in your life for example if you are in debt and worried about things or it can simply be a chemical imbalance in the brain. Whatever is causing it simply giving yourself a mental slap will not help and I urge anyone who feels this way to visit their doctor and seek treatment. For someone who isn't technically depressed but maybe needs a little help for a few weeks then St Johns wort may be of some use to you. St John's Wort is probably the most famous of all the herbs and there has been a few magazine articles about it lately and its supposed use as a' miracle plant'. Whilst I certainly do not think this way I do think it can be a useful tool for helping certain people in today's stressful fast paced world. St john's wort is a plant that has been in use since the time of the ancient Greeks as an aid for mood enhancement. Available in many different formulations such as tablets, tinictures and teas it can be found in health food shops and pharmacies up and down the country for pretty reasonable prices. Personally I do not use St Johns Wort for depression but instead as a remedy to help with nerves. Although I am a pretty confident person I sometimes find myself getting nervous when I have to talk in front of a group of people which I have to do quite often in my work. I prefer to take a daily capsule instead of preparing tea and I bought my tablets from Holland and Barrets for £14.00 for a bottle of 100 capsules. The instructions recommend that you take 1 tablet 3 times a day but as they are quite a high strength (300mg) I prefer to take just one in the morning. The St Johns Wort takes time to build itself up in your system and you should start to feel the benefit after a couple of weeks. I honestly feel that when I do take St John's Wort that it actually does help me. I always feel more confident talking in front of people and I notice things that would normally upset or annoy me don't as much and my mood feels much more even keel. I'm not sure how much of this is psychological and I think it would be impossible to prove it but for me they are a great pick me up but I really think people would have to try them for themselves to see if they would help. Luckily I don't seem to have any sort of side effects with St john's Wort and the research shows that it can be tolerated by most people but please remember that it is a potent medicinal herb and as such there can be some side effects. Women on the pill should NOT take St Johs Wort as it can affect its effectiveness and stop it working. It can also effect the usefulness of some blood thinning medication. Other less serious side effects can include dry mouth and tiredness. Very rarely St Johns Wort can increase your sensitivity to sunlight. I had to think whether or not to write this review as I feel depression is a serious illness and people suffering from it need to visit their doctor before taking any medication but as a mood enhancement aid for mild symptoms then I think St Johns Wort is a good herb and I definitely feel it helps me.

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              04.09.2010 16:48
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              St. John's Wort

              Feeling a little bit down? We all do have our periods in life where you just feel run down and you just can't seem to get out of it. Everything feels negative and you just feel you need a little boost to make you happy and enjoy life a little bit more. I had my moments in life that I felt down due work but also in my personal life and I just wanted to get a break. I felt like i had a depression but it sounded too dramatic. Yes I was down but I didn't really feel that unhappy. When I started reading about it on the internet I did find out that I had a mild depression which is very usual these days. I didn't really want to go to the doctor because I wasn't ready for it. I don't like to go to my doctor so I looked for a more natural medication to help me. I find out that St. John Wort is an herbal remedy that helps with mild forms of depression and is really easy to buy at a herbal shop. You can buy the tablets but I think also as tea. I bought the tablets of 60 and they were small and round which makes it very easy to take. You need to take a tablet three times a day and after 4 to 6 weeks you should feel a difference in your mood otherwise the tablets have no effect. Now as with a lot of these herbal medications they work for some and simply don't work for others. When I was researching these tablets I read about a lot of people that said they didn't work. I think they work for me but to be honest I find it difficult to say because I did feel better after a period of a few weeks but simply a lot can happen in that period. Before I started to use them I think I felt down for maybe a month and a half maybe two months. The right period to take these tablets is 4 to 6 weeks before you notice any difference and I think the effects are small so you feel better with the day/week. I did feel better after taken them a month and stopped using them after 6 weeks and haven't really been feeling down but I did grab this moment to change so things in my life and especially negatives things in my life. I think St. John Wort can be great to give you a little boost in life but it's not the solution for the long run. If you have serious problems you need to see a doctor. St. John Wort really worked for me because it just give me the little boost that I needed to see my life in a more positive way and make some changes to it. So for me a great product.

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                02.08.2010 20:05
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                Worth a go if you are feeling a little blue

                St John's Wort is a herbal remedy that is available in a variety of manifestations. It is perhaps most widely available in tablet form or as a herbal tea. St John's Wort is also know as Hypericum perforatum, and exists as a yellow flower. Its name is derived from its flowering and harvest day, traditionally 24th June, St John's day. It has a long-standing association with protective magic, but has gained notoriety in recent years for its ability to alleviate mild depression. Some claim it can even heal physical wounds and be effective in treating insomnia, headaches and colds. I most often use St John's Wort in tea form. Admittedly it is an acquired taste, as most herbal teas are. It has an organic, woody taste, which I do not mind but if you require a bit of help getting through a cup you can add honey or sugar to help it go down. The tea is very simple to prepare. You simply put a bag in a clean cup, add boiling water and leave the tea to infuse for several minutes. Milk is not generally added. Some people experience a photosensitivity reaction after consuming St John's Wort, although this is very rare. The herb is not recommended for those taking anti depressant medication, and should not be used with MAO or a Protease inhibitor. It should also be avoided if you are pregnant or breast feeding. In tablet form, St John's Wort is available in packs of 30 from the following sources: www.auravita.com, at £1.49 www.chemist-4-u.com at £1.49 www.chemist.net at £1.25 Alternatively, in tea form it can be purchased in a pack of 15 tea bags from: www.healthstore.uk.com at £1.69 www. auravita.com at £1.49 www.baldwins.co.uk at £1.48 You should not expect an enormous effect from St John's Wort, as it is intended to provide a mild mood lift. You may also not experience any difference in feeling immediately. It may take several days for the accumulative effect to take hold. I find St John's Wort tea a mild and relaxing drink however, and the health benefits it promotes has led me to continue purchasing it for many years. Recommended.

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                  05.06.2009 15:26

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                  Hit & Miss I guess..

                  Riiiiiight! I brough this product in roughly april time this year. I have been taking it three times a day (as stated - morning lunch and evening) for ALMOST THREE MONTHS and..... NOTHING! I feel pretty peeved, but I know that everyone is different and what might work for one person, may not work for another. I'll start to explain my situation to help others see if it'd be suitable for their siuation... I brought the 'Herb Tech' brand of the product. (standardised extract) from Holland and Barretts. I brought it becuase some days I felt pretty down, maybe felt a bit sad and like I wanted to sit and do nothing! (Just sorta zoned out). I also get anxious alot. You could call it nervous. I feel out of place in some social group situations and unconfident when walking alone. I also have the classic chewing my lip syndrome, wanting to be alone syndrome, and just I can get aggiated over small things. Anyway, i'd class myself as having mild anxiety and possibly very mild depression (obviously i'm no pschiatrist!) so I did alot of reading and decided to choose St Johns Wort as i'd read some good reviews and hear it was good for mild depression and can help anxiety... Well.... It did nothing! I've taken it for 3 months and nadda!! It also tastes pretty gross (I got capsules) I'll be off to try 'Bach Rescue Remedey' next. If you get worried/anxious like me, then look it up and give it a go. It definately got more 5 star reviews than St Johns. SUMMARY: may work for you, not for me!

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                  22.08.2008 22:36

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                  Hi, I took SJW for about 8 months and seemed ok at first but over time i noticed apathy and lethargy. I couldn't get out of bed in the morning and hardly went out the door. I worried about any kind of responsibility no matter how small. I stopped making music during these few months (which had never happened before) and felt alone and desperate. I didn't connect this to SJW as it crept up on me over time. Eventually I realised I had to go through a process of elimination. SJW was the first thing I eliminated and noticed after a few days that my energy was back and the worry and apathy were gone. I feel like I've awoke from a big nightmare and feel like doing things again. I hope this gives others something to think about If they are experiencing problems while taking SJW.

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                  29.06.2007 06:22

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                  Good advice? Well argued? Geeze -- by what criteria?This is a very dangerous and irresponsible review ... lots of bold claims with no credible sources to back them up.Additionally, there are plenty of legitimate research studies that thoroughly contradict the points made here.I highly recommend looking elsewhere for advice if you're considering taking SJW.

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                  09.04.2007 22:02
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                  Ask your doctor first!

                  Not long ago my friend battled through depression. It was an extremely difficult time for her, during which she spent a lot of time seeing doctors, trying new medications etc. She finally managed to lift herself out of it. But not from the help of the doctors but from this herbal remedy called St Johns Wort that she got from Holland and Barrett...for less than £5! So after watching her go though it and how much this helped I thought I would give you some more information on the product. - -What it treats- - St John's Wort can treat many different things including improving your circulation, can relieve PMT, it can fight retroviruses, simple little colds and it can also help people who struggle to sleep. However the main thing it is recognised for is to tackle depression. Many people use it as an anti-depressant instead of using medicine prescribed to them from their doctors. In short, it helps to heighten your mood. - -Why an herbal remedy instead of prescription?- - There are many different reasons you may wish to use an herbal remedy instead of a prescription. One of the big reasons I personally prefer to is because the more medication you take during your life, the more your body becomes immune to them. As a child, I took a lot of antibiotics and painkillers. I now find it difficult for my body to gain any benefits. Now if I have a headache there is little I can do. Herbal remedies take away that risk. The benefits on your body are different as well. It is all plant extracts etc (see the ingredients for full details) so you know there are no additives, sugar and so on involved. - -How it works- - There have been many different studies into this product and it is stil unclear how it works. However, it is believed that the hypercin within the capsule helps to lift the biochemical's in the brain (including secotonin/dopamine). When I had bad PMT last year I took this for a few months and for me it really took the edge off. People even commented that I wasn't so…eggy and more relaxed. - -The Tablet itself- - It is made by a company called Good and Natural. The tablet is about the size of a small pen lid *gulp* but saying all that it is very easy to swallow! Each one weighs in at 150mg and has approximately 0.30% Hypericin included. The ingredients of course don't include sugar but do include both Soya and sulphates which some are allergic to. Ingredients - Maltodextrin, St John's Wort extract, capsule shell (Gelatine), Anti-Caking agents (Magnesiul Silcate, Magnesium Sterate, Silicon Dioxide) - -How to take it- - This needs to be taken three times though out the day to get full benefits from it. There are two ways for it to be taken: With food - As simple as that. Probably best with Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner so that it is spread over the day. As a Tea. - You need to open the capsule carefully and place it into a cup. Then add boiling water. You can't add any flavouring or a tea bag etc so it's just hot gunk. Not tasty…*YUK* - -Health Check/Side Effects- - Ok there are a few things you should know. *You MUST speak to your doctor before you take this. If you are not able to get to a doctor then your local pharmacy can normally be really helpful. *Do not take as well as an anti-depressant. This is an alternative only, not something to add/boost. *Do not take if already taking something to treat HIV infection or anything that treats cancer without talking to your doctor. *If you have allergies to Soya or Sulphates do not take this product. *NEVER take if you are pregnant or breast feeding without a nod from your doctor. (Not the pharmacy) *NEVER, EVER take if you are taking the contraceptive pill. St John's Wort has been proven to affect the pill and render it almost useless (See final comment for proof). (Possible) Side Affects *Gastrointestinal Irritations (Niceeeeeeee…) *Dizziness - Especially when moving quickly (like a head rush) *Becoming Tired - make sure you don't drive, use machinery if this is true for you *Allergic Reactions - Some times your body just doesn't want to play fair *Photosensitivity - Try and stay away from too much sun. So not advised whist on holiday. *Dry Mouth If you have any of the above you should stop taking it immediately and seek medical advice. - -Price- - Holland and Barrett have campaign changes every couple of months which rotate. The best thing to do is too keep an eye on the website as that reflects the prices of those it store too (or you can just order from home!). The shelf price for 100 capsules is £8.49 but when found in a campaign, will dramatically drop. If you intend to take a lot, my advice would be to wait for it to go into a deal then stock up while you can so you can get your moneys worth! - -How it helped my friend- - Well as mentioned at the start of my review, she has now fully recovered. The big twist though is that she didn't listen to her doctor about the side effects. As she was also on the pill (and it can mess with it) she ended up becoming pregnant…oops. She now has a gorgeous baby girl to take care of and is glowing :)

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                  24.02.2007 02:18
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                  I think more testing needs to be done

                  Back again I am afraid with yet another herb review, this is a bit different as this herb from what I have read doesn’t have any culinary uses and If it was used it cooking I cant find anything. St John’s Wort been in the news on and of for a few years, and its seen as a bit of a controversial herb. St John's Wort in the Herbal world is seen as a treatment for mild or moderate depression, but the research done on St John's Wort has recorded little knowledge compared to the research on antidepressants. I have had a look on the internet and it seems there hasn't been enough testing on long term subjects to decide if it is as good as the herbalist say. Also here in the UK, St John’s Wort isn’t sold as a medicine; it’s sold as a food supplement. This means it hasn't been tested for safety in the same way as a medicine. Most GP's won't advise you to take it as a treatment for depression as it’s not nationally recommended as a treatment for depression, but of course they are quite happy to give you some Prozac. There is a few side effects ranging from dizziness, tiredness, dry mouth, and even a lack of sex drive :( Well enough of that…let’s get to the review St John’s Wort - Hypericum perforatum ***The Plant*** St John’s Wort is also known as Warriors wound, Amber, Touch and Heal, Grace of God and Herb of St John. There is a bit of a magical story behind the herb, whoever treads on St John’s Wort after sunset will be swept up on the back of a magical horse that will charge around the heavens until sunrise then returns back to earth and place the rider back on the ground. Hypericum has medicinal properties and is known universally as “Grace of God”. In England it cured mania (over-confident and full of energy and sleep very little, talk very fast, and do things that are out of character) In Russia it gave protection against hydrophobia (dread of water; rabies) and the Brazilians use it as an antidote for snake bites. The word “Wort” is Anglo-Saxon for medicinal herb and was believed to raise ghosts and exorcise spirits, they use to crush the leaves which gave of a smell on incense which was so strong it drove evil spirits away. The red pigment which comes from the crushed flowers was taken to signify the blood of St John at his beheading, for the herb is in full flower on the 24th June, St John’s Day. ***Species*** St John’s Wort is a hardy perennial and can grow from 12-36 inches in height and can spread 12 inches. Flowers are yellow scented with black dots and the leaves are stalkless with tiny perforations. ***Cultivation*** Sow the seeds in the spring in seed trays or plugs and cover with a thin layer of perlite, Germination takes around 2-3 weeks depending on the temperature. Once the seedlings are big enough to handle, the seedlings need to be hardened off before planting outside. St John’s Wort needs to be planted about 12 inches apart. You can also divide St John’s Wort in the autumn, also cut back after flowering to stop self seeding. It doesn’t need protecting over winter as it’s fully hardy, and will grow in most soils but can be invasive. St John’s Wort can be grown in a container and only needs feeding twice in the summer otherwise more foliage than flowers will appear. ***Pests*** Largely free from pests and diseases ***Medicinal*** The flowers of St John's Wort Used fresh in an olive oil can be used to treat external wounds, cuts, and bruises. It’s also believed a tea made from the flowers is a remedy for bladder problems and diarrhoea. Herbalists have been using it for a long time as a tonic for anxiety, tension, insomnia, and depression and menopause. The tonic is also used for liver and gallbladder complaints. It also has antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. As I said in the beginning the medical world are not to sure about St John’s Wort and more testing seems to be going on. ***Other uses*** The flowers release a yellow dye with alum and a red dye with alcohol. ***WARNING*** Taking in large doses can make the skin sensitive to the light (photosensitivity) and dizziness, tiredness, dry mouth, and even a lack of sex drive It has also been known to poison animals. As with all herbal medicine do your researches before you use it Thanks for reading my reviews, and thankyou for rating them. Tashi Delek (May everything be well) enlightened_one © 2007

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                    27.11.2006 23:04

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                    WHATEVER! You have nothing to back up your assumptions. TERRIBLE review! The side effects of SSRI's are 100 times more dangerous than taking SJW. There is some SPECULATION about possible liver damage with SJW, if taken in large doses. Get your facts straight and stop trying to scare people into taking pharmacuedecals.

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                    13.11.2006 18:31
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                    Overview of St. John's Wort

                    I’ve never really slept that well. I know it’s an over active mind and I should do something about it. In fact, I’ve tried lots of things over the years. Yep, I’ve tried self hypnosis, meditation (not quite the same), a chillow (might do a review one day) and even being boinked on the head with a mallet. Well actually, the last one’s a lie although my missus would gladly volunteer. So to my latest brainwave – St. John’s Wort. I’d considered this herbal route some time ago but baulked at the cost; what with me being a tight Brummie, but then I saw a packet of 30 tablets on sale in Aldi for just 89p. Even with my elementary maths, that was less than 3p a day for a month’s tablets so I checked this wonder cure out again to see whether it was worth the investment (89p is a lot to us folks from Birmingham). The facts about St. John’s Wort are that it has been used for centuries to treat mental disorders and nerve pain. Before I go any further, I should explain that St. John’s Wort is scientifically known as Hypericum perforatum, a yellow-flowering, rhizomatous, perennial herb indigenous to Europe, which has been introduced to the Americas and grows wild in many meadows. The common name comes from the fact that it traditionally flowers by and is harvested on St John's day, 24 June. Apparently, in ancient times herbalists wrote about its use as a sedative and a treatment for malaria, as well as a balm for wounds, burns, and insect bites and today, this popular herb is used by some for depression, anxiety, and/or sleep disorders. St. John’s Wort has an illustrious history. The first recorded use of Hypericum for medicinal purposes dates back to ancient Greece, and has been used ever since. The herb was also used by Native Americans internally as an abortifacient (a substance that induces abortion) and externally as an anti-inflammatory, astringent, and antiseptic. The aerial parts of the plant can be cut and dried for later use in the form of herbal tea, which has long been enjoyed both for its pleasant, though somewhat bitter taste, and for its medicinal properties. I can honestly say that I’ve never tried tea with SJW in it but I do like herbal tea per se (i.e. Twinings) and wouldn’t rule it out in the future (clarsy, ain’t I?). In modern medicine, standardized Hypericum extract is commonly used as a treatment for depression and anxiety disorders. In homeopathy, Hypericum is used in the treatment of numerous medical problems, yet the rate of success has not been adequately documented, as can be the case in homeopathy. Historically, the flowers and stems of St John's Wort have also been used to produce red and yellow dye. This could be very useful if you about to dye something red or yellow. Personally, I’m a big fan of homeopathy and think it’s a hugely under utilized area of medicine although it is big business these days and getting bigger all the time. Check out Holland and Barrett’s recent growth over the last few years! To manufacture things like these tablets, the flowering tops of St. John's Wort are used to extract concentrate that gets mixed with other ingredients to prepare teas and tablets. In the case of these ‘ere tablets, the St. John’s Wort was mixed with dicalcium phosphate, silicon dioxide, sodium starch glycolate, croscarmellose sodium, microcrystalline cellulose and magnesium stearate. The recommendation is to take one a day after food to get the best affect. Of course, after reading that little list you could be forgiven for worrying about what each of those ingredients might do and, quite frankly, I’ve no idea but I decided to trust the manufacturer who happened to be a company working for the supermarket. There was always the chance that this wouldn’t work (like so many other attempts to cure my insomnia) and recent scientific evidence suggests that St. John's Wort *could* be useful for treating mild to moderate depression.....except for the fact that two large studies (one sponsored by NCCAM) showed that the herb was no more effective than placebo in treating major depression of moderate severity. In fact, there are possible side affects of using this herbal remedy i.e. increased sensitivity to sunlight, anxiety, dry mouth, dizziness, gastrointestinal symptoms, fatigue, headache and sexual dysfunction (eek). The bottom line seems to be that St. John's Wort is not a proven therapy for depression/insomnia and if a sufferer was struggling then they really should take urgent medical advice. Well, did it work for me? I’m nearly at the end of the packet and, I have to say, I do seem to be sleeping better. I’m not completely convinced that it’s all down to this potential wonder herb but then it may be; who knows? All I can suggest is to try it (subject to the caveats above). At 89p for 30, it’s worth a go. Thanks for reading Mara

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                      25.01.2002 06:38
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                      During the middle part of 2001, I felt myself slipping into a mild depression. I have experienced depression in the past and have been given lots of different treatments, including Valium. (This, indidently, made me worse). Someone suggested that I try St Johns wort, as it is non-habit forming and perfectly natural, and has been used for centuries by other cultures. Before taking the plunge to buy the product, I did my homework via the internet, sussing out the pro's and con's and any side effects that the Wort my induce. These included the skin being particularly sensitive to the sun (I imagined photosynthesis occurring and sprouting buds!) Careful consideration led me to the conclusion that anything is worth a try. I chose the product from a reputable health food store and, somewhat grudgingly, paid the £10 for the 100 capsules. I started the course of treatment immediately I got home. I felt no different for 6 days, and then on the 7th day I found myself laughing at a Tom and Jerry cartoon on TV! I did not feel that St Johns Wort had been a 'miracle cure', but I did suddenly value it as a fantastic natural product. It lifted me gently from my grey world and gave me a chance, whilst free from depression, to analyse why I became depressed in the first place. Although there are no recommendations to 'wean' off the medicine, I gradually (over a two week period) reduced my dose down from 3 per day to 2 and then to 1 and now.... none at all. I thank the friend that suggested St Johns Wort to me and would like to recommend it to anyone who is feeling MILDLY depressed. I use the word mildly, because i have not used it, nor know anyone, who has used it for anything more serious. Perhaps, it would always be advisable to do your own research before you begin taking St Johns Wort, and bear in mind that everyone is different. It worked for me, and I really hope it works for you!

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                    • Product Details

                      St. John's wort has recently become extremely popular for its ability to lift the spirit and control mild depression