Treating Depression Naturally – Herbal Medication

In Germany, Hypericum is used in the treatment of depression more than any other antidepressant

Treating Depression NaturallyIn the past few years, there has been a surge in interest for treating depression naturally interest.

Particularly the use of herbs in the treatment of both depression and anxiety.

However, the first step to getting appropriate treatment for depression is a physical examination by your health professional.

Herbal Therapy:

St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum), a herb used extensively throughout Europe, has recently aroused interest in the United States for treating depression naturally in those with mild to moderate symptoms of depression.

St. John’s wort, an attractive bushy, low-growing plant covered with yellow flowers in summer, has been used for centuries in many folk and herbal remedies.

Today in Germany, Hypericum is used more than any other antidepressant for treating depression naturally. However, the scientific studies that have been conducted on its use have been short-term and have used several different doses.

St Johns Wort

Because of the widespread interest in St. John’s wort, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in America, conducted a 3-year study, sponsored by three NIH components-the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and the Office of Dietary Supplements.

The study was designed to include 336 patients with major depression of moderate severity, randomly assigned to an 8-week trial with one-third of patients receiving a uniform dose of St. John’s wort, another third sertraline, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) commonly prescribed for depression, and the final third a placebo (a pill that looks exactly like the SSRI and the St. John’s wort, but has no active ingredients).

The study participants who responded positively were followed for an additional 18 weeks. At the end of the first phase of the study, participants were measured on two scales, one for depression and one for overall functioning. There was no significant difference in the rate of response for depression, but the scale for overall functioning was better for the antidepressant than for either St. John’s wort or placebo.

While this study did not support the use of St. John’s wort in the treatment of major depression, ongoing NIH-supported research is examining a possible role for St. John’s wort in the treatment of milder forms of depression.

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