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18 Feb 2003

Does St John Wort work or not ?
I would just like to know if St John Wort work for mild depression. There were some controversial articles that claim that St John Wort does not work even for mild depression. Are there any alternative suggestions ? I am talking here just about being under the weather for the last 2-3 weeks and needing some boost. This got nothing to do with major depression.
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

OK, there are many situations in which one feels under the weather for a few weeks, a bit below par and just not especially happy. These are usually related to changes in your situation or the events of life, and will pass off as mysteriously as the mood arrived. Actually, what usually works best for these situations are non-chemical things, like a bit of self-pampering, dealing with whatever stresses may have arisen, and getting involved in interesting activities and perhaps getting into a gym and more varied exercie and distraction.
St John's Wort remains controversial. There is some evidence that it may help some people with mild depression, but when it does, it seems to act in much the same chemical way as does Prozac and other antidepressants, and it has problems such as side-effects and potentially serious interactions with other drugs. And, as you say, there have been some other studies finding no paticular benefits from it, and it's not especially cheap, either.
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