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St Johns Wort

(12 Posts)
DeliaRose Wed 10-Oct-12 19:40:14

I'm finding that I'm feeling quite low lately. Short fuse with the kids and generally can't be bothered with anything. PMT seems to have become a major problem recently too. Literally for a week I will do nothing apart from be miserable.

So you think St John's Wort could help? Are there any downsides to taking it? Does it have to be prescribed?

NulliusInBlurba Wed 10-Oct-12 19:56:46

St. John's Wort does not have to be prescribed - I'm not sure if it would be cheaper to get it on prescription, or if your GP would be willing to do so. Some are quite simply against anything that's not chemical based. However, it is certainly necessary to consult a doctor, particularly if you have any other health issues. St. John's wort is absolutely banned, for instance, if you have any heart condition - my mother had an artificial heart valve and was warned against taking it (but then she was also not allowed to eat cranberries!).

I don't know of any side effects on healthy people - I've certainly never experienced any. It does take three or four weeks before any effect can be noticed, but then the same is true of chemical ADs. I was looking at the range of SJW on offer in Boots recently, and it was quite difficult finding anything at a higher dose. A full daily dose would be 900 to 1000 mg, but most single tablets are only 200-400 mg, so you would need to take several per day to have a real effect.

I do think SJW can be very effective in combatting MILD depression, in conjunction with a programme of healthy eating and excercise, and possibly even some sort of talking therapy. Once depression becomes moderate to severe, you possibly need a more radical (ie chemical) solution. Of course, the problem comes in defining the point where mild becomes moderate depression. I would say that if it's not actually changing your behaviour in any way, just making you feel down in the dumps, then SJW is still an option.

DeliaRose Wed 10-Oct-12 20:00:48

I'm just finding everything a struggle, the housework, the kids, Dh. I don't feel desperate, I just need a kick up the arse, I've no motivation.

CremeEggThief Wed 10-Oct-12 20:14:32

I think it interferes with the contraceptive pill, so that might be a consideration?

I took it for a few months several years ago and found it beneficial.

DeliaRose Wed 10-Oct-12 20:27:14

Not on the pill. Stopped taking anything that might interfere with my hormones in an effort to settle my moods <hollow laugh>

DeliaRose Wed 10-Oct-12 20:27:56

What differences did you notice Creme?

CremeEggThief Wed 10-Oct-12 20:48:13

It was a long time ago, but generally more positive and less anxious in outlook, although I did combine with a talking therapy too, after a few months.

TitWillow Wed 10-Oct-12 21:10:42

I used it years ago when I ended up depressed after taking hormonal contraceptives. I think it did make a difference, calmed me down a bit, got me through the worst patch. I'm not usually keen on herbal or alternate medicines, but I'm fairly sure there is some evidence to show that St John's Wort works better than placebo. Could be wrong, but check it out.

Viperidae Wed 10-Oct-12 21:14:48

Be very wary if you are on any other medications at all as it interacts with many. My impression is that its effects are similar to antidepressants but milder.

Baskets45 Wed 10-Oct-12 22:43:49

I have used SJW for several longish spells. I found it v good for PMS, also helped sleep, and lifted mood. I discussed it with various medical people. A friend's dh who isa psychiatrist recommmended using it for at least 2 months before expecting results. I had positive responses from GPs, 3 in all, I mentioned it to. I do have several health problems and felt it best to discuss with GPs. One of the big contraindications is with the contraceptive pill and that's the one they ALWAYS check on, but doesn't apply to me these days anyway! All the GPs seemed aware of the research that shows it hlps in mild to moderate depression. You could google it I am sure. Not sure i'm not being abit cheeky being impressed the GPs were so positive or aware - it is a good practice IME, but perhaps only when compared with my previous GPs who were pretty rubbish all in all.

Baskets45 Wed 10-Oct-12 22:51:54

Sorry, typing with 2 painful hands, so VERY slow indeed, and didn't want o lose my painstaking efforts, so in 2 parts! SJW is used, ie prescribed by 'conventional' drs, for mild to mod dep in parts of Europe, esp Germany. There are a couple of books on it - i got at least one frm Amazon. For more info, if you want. They weren't very dear.

You should get higher dose caps from a health food shop, I think. It's a while since I've bought any - i had just bought a muckle jar a few years ago, my depression worsened quite dramatically, and I needed conventional treatment. I am thinking about it again as it was good for a long while, and I can't use the conventional ADs any more, it seems.

Hope that helps, but it's worth discussing with a GP first. IMO!

Baskets45 Wed 10-Oct-12 23:07:32

Oh, the big SE I noticed was in sunshine (what's that you say?!), even quite mild scottish sun though, when I needed sunscreen or my face and neck burned.

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