Naturopathy: St. John's wort for depression

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St. John's wort extract: A beacon of hope against depression

According to a survey recently published on behalf of the WHO, 121 million people worldwide suffer from depression, women twice as often as men. In Germany, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) Berlin, five to six million people between the ages of 18 and 65 had suffered from depression in the past twelve months. Herbal medicinal products from St. John's wort extracts are proving to be more and more hopeful against common suffering.

For some years now, medicine has had positive results in the treatment of depressive conditions. The phytopharmaceutical St. John's wort experienced an almost unique renaissance: Controlled scientific studies with standardized extracts of the medicinal plant have helped it to become scientifically recognized.

The Ravensburger psychiatrist Prof. Dr. In his reference book "Mental disorders today" (ecomed 2011), Volker Faust states: "No antidepressant has experienced such a spectacular upswing in recent years as St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum L.). In the meantime, it is even among the top antidepressant substances in terms of prescription and use (even if there were slumps in sales). The phyto-antidepressant St. John's wort has now proven through more than 40 clinical-therapeutic studies that its treatment success for mild to moderate depression is comparable to that of synthetic ("chemical") antidepressants. In addition, special healing indications are discussed: for example, winter depression, body-related disorders, grief reaction, burnout syndrome, premenstrual disorders, menopause, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) or chronic pain ”.

Biological, psychological and social components work together in the multifactorial development of depression. For example, Evelyn Bromet's WHO study of 89,000 people in 18 countries found that residents of rich countries were particularly affected by depressive conditions. The loss of a partner often turned out to be an individual trigger for depression. (Bromet E. et al. BMC Medicine 2011, 9:90; doi: 10.1186 / 1741-7015-9-90).

Unfortunately, legal regulations regarding the prescription ability of medicinal products from St. John's wort extracts have caused quite a bit of confusion. Although they work best for mild and moderate depression, the doctor may only prescribe them for the mild depression on the green prescription or on a private prescription. The use of St. John's wort preparations can only be reimbursed for moderate depression. (kfn)

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Image: Katharina Wieland Müller /

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Video: St. Johns Wort for Depression: A Clinical Summary

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