January 01, 1999
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts January 1999 Current Issue
January 1999
AppleShort Cuts:

WORT WORRIES. Feeling depressed? In recent years, an increasingly popular solution for down-and-out consumers has been St. John’s wort, dubbed by Nutrition Action Healthletter “the hottest herbal supplement since ginkgo.”

What could be wrong with a natural antidepressant you can buy off the shelf? Nutrition Action raised some serious concerns in a recent issue.

  • In the largest study to date, about half the people on St. John’s wort did better than those on a placebo; that means about half didn’t.
  • None of the studies published looked at whether the herb helps people with severe depression or clinical depression plus clinical anxiety.
  • Long-term usage has not been studied. The upshot: While it may be convenient to bypass a doctor’s care and buy St. John’s wort, those who feel they need an antidepressant should seek professional help. Back to Current Issue index | Back to Short Cuts index
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