St. John's Wort and Depression

Posted by Admin on October 27, 2008

Some studies show St. Johns wort helps alleviate depression, and some don't. But one government agency, one educational institution and a nonprofit biomedical group recently gave it a something of a thumbs-up. "There is some scientific evidence that St. John's wort is useful for treating mild to moderate depression," according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). And the University of Maryland Medical Center says that, "in numerous studies, St. John's wort has been effective in reducing depressive symptoms in those with mild to moderate but not severe [or major] depression."

Regarding severe depression, NIH chimes in with the university, saying, "Two large studies, one sponsored by NCCAM [the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine], showed that the herb was no more effective than placebo in treating major depression of moderate severity."

Meanwhile, scientists at the Cochrane Collaboration recently evaluated 29 studies on St. John's wort in 5,489 patients. The studies, which were done in a wide range of countries, lasted from four to 12 weeks, and compared the herb with antidepressants and placebos.

The Cochrane group, an international, nonprofit, independent organization dedicated to making up-to-date, accurate information about the effects of health care readily available worldwide, concluded the following: St. John's wort works better than placebos on mild to moderately severe depression and about the same as standard antidepressants.

Interestingly, research on the herb conducted in German-speaking countries had better results than trials conducted in other countries. The Cochrane scientists said that, in the Germanic countries, "these products have a long tradition and are often prescribed by physicians. ... These differences could be due to the inclusion of patients with slightly different types of depression, but it cannot be ruled out that some smaller studies from German-speaking countries were flawed and reported overoptimistic results."


Subscribe to our newsletter

Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new stories on

Featured Specialities:

Featured Doctors:

Optimal Wellness

 Dr. Joseph E. Bosiljevac
Dr. Joseph E. Bosiljevac

14 E.69th Street
New York, NY 10021

Call: 888-913-1592

Optimal Wellness Network

Dr. Damon Noto, MD
Arthritis Alternative Treatments

777 Terrace Avenue, 4th Floor
Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604

Call: 877-412-4838

Royal Medical Group

Dr. Daniel Royal
COPD Stem Cell Treatment

9065 S. Pecos Rd., Ste. 250
Henderson, NV 89074

Call: 800-888-9564

 Associates in Family Chiropractic & Natural Health Care, P.C.
Chiropractic Norwalk, Connecticut

156 East Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06851

Call: (203) 838-1555

Ferraro Spine & Rehabilitation

Dr. Peter Ferraro, D.C.
Integrative Medical Center Bergen County, NJ

230 Midland Ave
Saddle Brook, NJ 07663

Call: 888-797-1692

Empire Physical Medicine & Pain Management

Dr. Steven S. Moalemi, M.D.
Neck Pain Uptown Manhattan, New York City

551 5th Avenue Ste. 525
New York, NY 10176

Call: (888) 898-7795