Depression is a serious mental condition that is affecting a gradually growing number of American adults. In fact, it is estimated that one in every ten people in the U.S. will experience depression at some point during their adulthood. It can influence their thoughts and mood, but also their physical health and behavior. The symptoms of the condition vary from one person to the next, as do their severity. In order to treat depression, conventional medicine typically prescribes medications such as antidepressants, sometimes in conjunction with certain forms of psychotherapy.
However, as a growing number of studies suggest that there are unpleasant side effects, risks of addiction, and other problems associated with many antidepressants – and other studies are now suggesting that antidepressants only truly work on the more severe cases of the condition and not milder versions – many people are looking to effective alternatives. Among the most common is St. John’s Wort.
St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a type of plant that grows in the wilderness and that has been used in natural medicine for centuries. It has become a very commonly recommended remedy for depression in many countries, including in England and other parts of Europe. However, in the United States, the use of this alternative medicine remains comparatively low, especially compared to the use of prescription antidepressants.
Many people are looking into this natural supplement and whether or not it may be appropriate as an alternative to prescription drugs for treating their own depression. Though this may be the case for some, it is important to point out that it is not right for everyone. Though this may be an over the counter product, there are some serious concerns about its safety and effectiveness when it comes to individuals who are already taking certain medications, and who have certain health conditions. For instance, combining this supplement with certain prescription antidepressants can produce fatal reactions.
While there are some people who are successfully using St. John’s Wort as a treatment for depression, it is important to speak with your doctor before you begin to use this supplement. The use of this herb has been associated with serious side effects and the latest evidence for the use of this substance for a depression treatment is not yet conclusive. It has been approved neither as an over the counter nor as a prescription for the treatment of depression, by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).