Depression - you may need more than St. John's Wort

I was on a radio show Tuesday morning where we discussed the difference between naturopathic medicine and ‘green allopathy.’  Green allopathy is where conventional medical doctors use natural substances as targeted therapy but potentially without truly understanding how the body works from a holistic perspective.  An example of this that we discussed on the show is the use of St. John’s Wort for depression. St. John’s Wort has demonstrated through clinical studies to be comparably effective as Fluoxetine/Prozac, a medication commonly used for depression.  It is a wonderful herb and it has increased my mood as well.  But it does not work for everyone, or it may not be all that one needs. Some causes of depression:

  • Constant high anxiety

  • Compromised digestive tract, which can reduce the amount of serotonin made (this is a hormone and neurotransmitter that helps keep a good mood)

  • Low adrenal function

  • Negative or high fear-based mindset

At different points in my life, I experienced all of these plus depression. Constant anxiety can eventually lead to a wearing out of your energy, poor digestion, reduction of adrenal function and dampening of your mood. Chronic poor digestion can provoke anxiety, reduction of adrenal function, decreased energy, and a dampening of your mood. Low adrenal function can provoke anxiety, poor digestion, decreased energy, and a dampening of your mood. A negative mindset or one that tends to have a lot of fears can lead to an internal state of stress, anxiety, being hard on oneself, depression, poor digestion, and decreased or stagnated energy. Do you see how all of these are connected?  This is why just St. John’s Wort may or may not be enough, because there are other moving parts that need to be addressed.  But the beauty of using St. John’s Wort and other herbs or certain nutrients for depression is that you do not have to deal with some of the possible side effects of SSRI medications.  Herbs and high dose nutrients can have side effects if not used appropriately, but it is usually minimal to non-existent in comparison to medications.  I have also worked with clients who are on medications that work well for them, but they still need more assistance.  In this situation I incorporate natural therapies that enhance the progress they have already made.  This integrative approach can also create the potential opportunity to cease medication in the future. When you work on the underlying conditions that contribute to the depression, that is when you can see lasting results.  I work with clients to reduce anxiety, improve digestive health and restore adrenal function.  I also get the conversation started about negative mindsets and implement natural remedies to help them begin shifting mentally, as well as refer to mental health professionals.  I have found that these two combined are more effective.  If you are seeking help in these areas, schedule a telehealth appointment by:

  • Clicking HERE

  • Calling 281-231-2811

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