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Originally published March 29 2005

St. John's Wort proven more effective than antidepressant drugs for treating depression

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

A new study published in Germany has found that St. John's Wort, a medicinal herb frequently blamed by conventional medicine for interfering with prescription drugs, is more effective than a popular antidepressant drug in treating depression. The study found that the herb is actually much more effective than antidepressant drugs, since more than half of those taking St. John's Wort in the trial experienced improvements in symptoms of mental depression. Conversely, only 1/3 of those taking the popular antidepressant drug showed such improvements. Not surprisingly, those taking the herb also showed significantly fewer negative side effects compared to those taking the prescription drug.

This is a case in which the herb is not only more effective, but also safer; a fact that should not be surprising, since medicinal herbs are typically more effective and significantly safer than prescription drugs. Also, St. Johnís Wort is a natural medicinal herb that has been used safely and effectively by cultures throughout the world for thousands of years. So with the findings of this study, we once again see a much better alternative for treating depression than prescription drugs

We also learned recently that St. Johnís Wort is only one of many natural treatments for severe depression. A diet of select foods high in omega-3 fatty acids offers good, strong nutrition normally lacking in the American diet, and also aids in treating depression much more effectively than prescription drugs.

However, if you are in search of a way to treat your depression, it is always much better to eliminate the depression at its source, rather than try to mask its symptoms with a drug or an herb. Many people tend to use St. John's Wort and other herbs in an allopathic fashion, which means they attempt to counter a disease or symptom with a chemical, regardless of whether that chemical comes from a plant or a prescription drug. Using medicinal herbs or prescription drugs in such a way is really not a healthy way to treat symptoms, disorders or diseases. The only way to achieve a high state of health is to pursue a healthy lifestyle through nutrition, physical activity, exposure to natural sunlight, strong social interaction, brain exercise, good breathing, staying away from environmental toxins, and so on.

But while the study shows St. John's Wort to be more effective than antidepressant drugs, an educated naturopathic physician or nutritionist may not suggest that you simply switch from antidepressants to St. John's Wort. That is still an allopathic approach. An educated person would recommend that you improve your lifestyle by adopting healthy food and exercise habits, which would eliminate the depression without the need for any herbs or drugs.

As expected, this news about the effectiveness of St. John's Wort drives Big Pharma crazy, since they cannot stand for researchers to discover yet another herb or food that works better than their drugs. Naturally, they hope that very few people ever discover this news, since it doesn't serve their interests. They want people to use prescription drugs, and the fewer people who know about nutrition and disease prevention, the better the profits are for the pharmaceutical industry.

As I've said before, I don't believe that this is some grand conspiracy. It's simply greed in action. The drug companies have no reason to tell people they can eliminate depression through phototherapy or by eating flax seeds, walnuts, fish oils and molasses. They want people to think the only solution is a chemical solution; that if you have a symptom, you need a drug.

And surprisingly, many people believe just that. I have seen perfectly healthy individuals believe some diagnosis of depression, and walk around popping Prozac pills every couple of hours. I ask them, "Why are you taking these drugs?" And they say, "My doctor told me to." I usually ask them if they do everything that people wearing lab coats with medical degrees tell them. At that point they're usually annoyed and leave, taking an extra Prozac pill as they go. They are likely thinking that they have been verbally assaulted and now need additional chemical help.

But all joking aside; the fact remains that our population would be quite foolish to follow the advice of doctors and take chemicals to treat depression based on these diagnoses.

What people should do instead is take care of their own health to avoid needing prescription drugs in the first place. We do not need antidepressants, statin drugs, COX-2 inhibitors, beta blockers, or any other popular drugs. We certainly do not need drugs like Viagra, since its users likely only need the drug due to either poor nutrition or the fact that they are taking statin drugs, which interfere with their normal sex hormone production. In practically every case, it is quite appropriate to ditch the drugs with the supervision of a qualified health professional, and instead shift your lifestyle to become healthier.

If you still find yourself clinically depressed and in want of a quick fix, reach for St. John's Wort instead of antidepressant prescription drugs.



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