St. John's Wort Improves Mood
Thursday, July 6th 2006
Perika improves mood in major clinical study
Media comments about St. John's wort, continually attempt to undermine the considerable number of positive studies, research and benefits of this herb. The American Journal of Psychiatry, in August 2002 published a study that shows the effectiveness of Perika St. Johns wort (SJW) standardised herb for improving mood. Such positive results support consumer confidence.
St. John's Wort V's fluoxetine (Prozac)
A recent clinical trial investigated the antidepressant effects of SJW by comparing it to fluoxetine (Prozac) - the world's best selling antidepressant drug. This German study was funded by the German medical insurance system. The results were impressive. The study concluded, "The two treatments are essentially equally potent in their antidepressant effects." "Furthermore, the researchers asserted that there was no evidence to suggest an advantage in treating these patients with fluoxetine."
Perhaps more importantly, however, safety as measured by this study was far superior for SJW. Side effects were much more serious in the fluoxetine group, and included "retching, dizziness, tiredness, anxiety-associated symptoms, and erectile dysfunction." The only side effect seen with SJW was gastrointestinal upset, but according to the researchers, this was "mild and did not compromise efficacy or patient compliance."
The authors summarize the results of this study in a way that clearly outlines the superiority of SJW as the medication of choice for mild to moderate depression. They noted, "When treating patients with mild to moderate depression, SJW should be considered as one of the first treatment options based upon both efficacy and safety, particularly in cases where treatment is a choice between fluoxetine and SJW".
However, if you want to use SJW for mild to moderate depression it is critical that you use a product that you have confidence in to work.
Hyperforin is the Key
For many years hypericin was thought to be the key active compound with SJW. Scientists now identify hyperforin, a completely different compound, to be the herb's real "mood enhancing" active.
How Hyperforin Works
Hyperforin inhibits the central nervous system for re-uptaking "mood regulating" neuro-transmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. Hypericin, on the other hand, shows little re-uptake inhibition.
Hyperforin is normally unstable, so its potency is quickly lost while the product is on the shelf in the shop. But not Perika. Because of its patented HyperiSure technology, its hyperforin content is maintained for the product's entire shelf life.
Reproduced unabridged from the July - September 2006 issue of Health and Herbal News, with the kind permission of Health and Herbs International Ltd.
Footnote from Ideal Health:
The following products are all useful for treating Stress & Depression:
5-HTP Mood Care 50mg
Clinical Strength St. John's Wort
Online Health Appraisal
Stress & Well-Being
St Johns Wort
Stress Relief Tea
Recharge & Relax
Related health information can be found here:
Depressed, anxious or unable to sleep? You could be low in the brain chemical serotonin
Essential oils for your emotions
Hypericum St John's Wort - depression, NS complaints
Related articles can be found here:
Mood, sleep, serotonin and 5-HTP
New Study Links Low Cholesterol to Suicide in Depressed Patients
Not Only to Fight Obesity and Depression - Rhodiola - More Powerful Than Ginseng!
St John's Wort Extract
The Mood Food Connection
If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.
Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.
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