St Johns Wort Anxiety Remedy not Effective?

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St John’s Wort is commonly used to treat mild to moderate depression but can it help anxiety as well? This article takes a look at the effectiveness of St. John’s Wort anxiety remedy.

But First, What’s St Johns Wort?

One of the world’s best known herbs and a plant with small yellow flowers, the scientific name for St Johns Wort is Hypericum perforatum. You may be curious to know how it became colloquially known as St Johns Wort then? Interestingly, the name apparently comes from St John the Baptist. The plant is in full bloom on his feast day in the northern hemisphere (June 24). In addition, red spots are believed to appear on the plant’s leaves on the anniversary of his death (August 29) when he was beheaded.

Anxiety and Depression Interlinked

Anxiety and depression are usually viewed as being two separate disorders, especially by medical practitioners. However, the reality is that many people actually suffer from the symptoms of both conditions at once. As indicated in this article, research reveals that around 60-70% of people with depression also have anxiety. And 50% of people with chronic anxiety also have clinically significant symptoms of depression. Obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and social phobia/generalized social anxiety disorder are all particularly associated with depression as well.

What’s at the root of it?

Anxiety and depression are commonly related to an imbalance in neurotransmitters (chemicals released by nerve cells to send signals to other nerve cells) in the brain. One of their functions is regulating mood. In this regard, some neurotransmitters are excitatory (they stimulate the brain) and some are inhibitory (they calm the brain).

Neurotransmitters, and Anxiety and Depression

The main neurotransmitters involved in depression and anxiety disorders are dopamine, norepinephrine, gamma amino butyric acid (GABA), and seratonin. GABA, seratonin, and dopamine keep us relaxed, confident, happy, focused, and motivated. Norepinephrine is related to our physical responses and state of arousal, including our “fight or flight” response to stress. Too much or too little of these neurotransmitters will result in anxiety and/or depression.

It’s rare for someone to have an imbalance in just one neurotransmitter, as all the neurotransmitter systems interact together. For example, research has indicated that seratonin and norepinephrine are so closely linked that changes in the level of one will reflect in a change in the other. GABA also works to regulate serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine.

  • People with anxiety usually don’t have enough GABA, dopamine, and/or or seratonin, or have too much norepinephrine (high levels of norepinephrine will induce the feelings of a panic attack). Their excitatory neurotransmitters are too high and/or their inhibitory neurotransmitters are too low. (This scientific study found issues with both dopamine and sertonin in patients with patients with generalized social anxiety disorder).
  • People with depression usually don’t have enough serotonin, dopamine, or norepinephrine. Their inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitters may be too low.

Hence, as the neurotransmitters overlap, it’s possible to understand why people may have both anxiety and depression at the same time.

Treating Anxiety and Depression Together

Medically, treatment is focused on addressing both depression and anxiety at the same time. Antidepressants are the first line of drugs, and most SSRIs (serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which increase the amount of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain) are approved for use in anxiety disorders.

It takes trial and error to determine which drugs work best for which patients, and how they’ll react to them, though.

How St Johns Wort Helps Depression

This scientific review concluded that St Johns Wort is effective as a natural treatment for depression. It works, as stated in this study:

St. John’s wort extract has a clear inhibitory effect on the neuronal uptake not only of serotonin, noradrenaline, and dopamine but also of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and L-glutamate. No other antidepressant shows an approximately equally broad inhibitory profile.

Yet, the main issue is that St Johns Wort can take up to six weeks to be effective.

In addition, so far, very little scientific research has been carried out into St Johns Wort as a remedy for anxiety. What little research there is has failed to find that it works when taken alone.

St Johns Wort and Passionflower Extract for Anxiety and Depression

However, the good news is that a clinical study presented at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology Congress, held in Vienna during October 2007, found that a combination of St Johns Wort and passionflower extract was helpful for the treatment of depression with anxiety.

A total of 162 patients participated in the double-blind, placebo controlled and randomised trial. They were classified as either mildly depressed or moderately depressed on the Hamilton Scale for Depression. The trial went for eight weeks, and the patients took either the St Johns Wort and Passionflower combination or a placebo. During that time their scores on both the Hamilton Scale for Depression (HAMD) and Hamilton Scale for Anxiety (HAMA) were measured. The patients who took the supplement recorded substantial reductions in both, while the placebo patients worsened.

After 56 days, the placebo group started taking the supplement. This resulted in a drop of 39.6% and 31.6% in their HAMD and HAMA ratings respectively.

This indicates that a St Johns Wort and passionflower combination supplement is a promising treatment for people who are suffering from depression and anxiety.

Read more about how passionflower works for anxiety and evidence that passionflower works for anxiety.

Mindsoothe — St Johns Wort and Passionflower Supplement

We recommend a product called MindSoothe, by Native Remedies. It contains therapeutic dosages of both St Johns Wort and passionflower extract, to help you keep calm and balance your mood.

Here’s what customers have to say about this remarkable product:

I had been experiencing social anxiety that was affecting my social life and work. After taking MindSoothe for just one week, I feel great and am able to feel relaxed in social situations that I would otherwise want to avoid. No side effects! I am pleasantly surprised!” — Michelle, NY, USA

I started taking MindSoothe in August. I had chronic sleep deprivation, memory loss, and could not concentrate. I was not able to work. I did not want to leave the house… Within the first couple of days, I felt my mood lift. After about 4 weeks, I was starting to sleep much better, and the world did not seem like such a dark place. After about 8 weeks, I was able to return to work. I can’t thank you enough for this natural product. I have had no side effects. I would just tell anyone starting this product to give it at least 4 to 8 weeks and they will see results. I feel like I have my life back.” — Susan P., CA, USA

Why not take a look at MindSoothe today? Native Remedies offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all products, so you can try it risk free!

References:

Chaudhry HR, Taj R, Saeed N, Khan NH, Chaudary A, Loonen AJM. Effectiveness of a combination of Hypericum and Passiflora for treatment of depression with concomitant anxiety. The journal of the European college of Neuropsychopharmacology. 2007;17(4):394.

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