LONDON (Reuters) - The herbal remedy St. John's Wort effectively treats symptoms of major depression, an analysis of previous studies found on Wednesday.
St. John's Wort extracts tested in the different trials were better than placebos and as effective as standard antidepressants with fewer side effects, the researchers reported in the Cochrane review, a journal that analyses medical and scientific studies.
"The studies came from a variety of countries, tested several different St. John's Wort extracts, and mostly included patients suffering from mild to moderately severe symptoms," Klaus Linde of the Center for Complementary Medicine in Munich, Germany wrote.
The herb works in a similar way to some prescription antidepressants by increasing the brain chemical serotonin, involved in controlling mood.
The Cochrane review analyzed 29 studies that together included 5,489 men and women with symptoms of major depression and compared the remedy's effectiveness with placebos and standard treatments.
In the reviewed studies, St. John's Wort was compared to both tricyclic antidepressants and SSRI's and was as effective as drugs in either class, even in major depressive disorders.
I hope you don't need this information. But if you do, it's something to consider...