St. John's Wort
Experts agree that depression, insomnia and viruses, like Epstein-Barr, have reached epidemic proportions and North American doctors are prescribing the antidepressant drug Prozac to nearly one million patients each month.
The active ingredient attributed to the effectiveness of St. John's Wort is called Hypericin, a red coloured pigment located in little pockets on the leaves of this plant. Hypericin, along with its counterpart pseudohypericin, has been found to have antiviral activity. This activity is thought to involve the production of oxygen free radicals. These can damage the brain's viral envelope, and is one of the main components attributed to the effectiveness of St. John'-s Wort.
St. John's Wort is said to favorably alter chemicals in the brain using hypericin and other flavonoids which inhibit the breakdown of several neurotransmitters. This includes serotonin, the brain's own antidepressant that helps to maintain mood and emotional stability. St. John's Wort appears to improve the signal produced by serotonin and , unlike some anti- depressants, it actually improves memory and other mental activities rather than interfering with mental function.
Candidates for St. John's Wort include:
* anyone who has mild or moderate depression
* women who experience low mood during the premenstrual syndrome
* anyone suffering form anxiety, depression, or simply a lack of enthusiasm about life
* anyone who experiences Seasonal Affective Disorder, or are experiencing low mood,
poor motivation, and lack of energy
* anyone regularly experiencing irritability, mood swings, aggressive behavior,
* women experiencing Postpartum Depression
Long term usage of St. John's Wort may result in photosensitivity and it is therefore advisable to avoid the sun as much as possible or wear a high SPF sunscreen. Researchers point out that St. John's Wort can be used in cases of mild to moderate depression but should not be used while taking other antidepressants. As is the case with most antidepressants, St. John's Wort may cause drowsiness, so it is not recommended to engage in activities requiring alertness such as driving. Alcoholic beverages should also be avoided while taking this product.
Recommended use: Adults: Take 3 capsules daily. One capsule with each meal. For occasional
Ingredients: 400mg St. John's Wort Powder, 100 mg St. John's Wort Extract (0.3% hypericin), and a capsule shell. No Fillers, additives, yeast, milk, egg, color or binders have been added.
Please consult your healthcare practitioner regarding treatment of specific health disorders.
©1997 InnerSense October/97
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