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 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 (
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