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St. John's wort in depression.

Date: Tue, 14 Nov 1995 20:16:53 MST
From: Michael Moore <hrbmoore.RT66.COM>
Subject: Re: St. John's Wort

>I have read that St. John's Wort should not be taken for extended periods of time, but that it is an excellent herb for depression. I believe the period of time was 2 to 4 weeks...no longer than 4 weeks. I too have in the past taken Zoloft, and on my own decided to wean myself from it. And I was able to! I now take nothing for depression and believe, sometimes the "life" symptoms warrant depression (teenage kids in trouble, etc!) I feel much better without the drugs.

I would strongly disagree with a blanket statement such as "St. John's Wort should not be taken for extended periods of time". I only use galenic preparations of Hypericum...a 1:2 tincture of the fresh flowering and budding tops, gathered from mid-June to mid-July. I have observed Hypericum to be effective in two distinct fashions: perhaps a third of those that respond, respond quickly, within an hour or less (almost in the manner of, and as quickly as, a Pulsatilla or Avena response). The rest of the folks that respond to Hypericum find little benefit for several days (usually in dosage ranges of 20-30 drops 4X a day), and, when anxieties or fugueing starts to diminish I back them off to only morning and evening doses. Of course I would rarely rely on ONLY a direct treatment...I usually work in some tonics to strengthen deficient aspects of metabolism. People with emotional distress are usually imbalanced in the direction of their constitutional strengths.

I rarely find Hypericum very helpful for people that have a history of chemically-induced or chemically-resultant emotional distress...most such people have acquired a variety of physical, drug, emotional, sexual and dietary compensations over the years. I find Hypericum most helpful for those who are confronting anxieties OR depression for the first time, and have FEW mechanisms to deal with it. I find this most frequently in men and single working mothers.

Just some personal Rules of Thumb, not dogma.

Michael Moore (hrbmoore.rt66.com)
All the SWSBM teaching and clinical manuals, JPEGs of Medicinal Plant
photographs and class announcements can be obtained at this site.

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