Did you know…?
An antidepressant, in the most common usage, is a psychiatric medication taken to alleviate clinical depression or dysthymia ('milder' depression). A number of antidepressant drugs, such as the herbal supplement St John's Wort, are widely studied and used.
Antidepressants are considered separately from stimulants. They are usually taken as a course over several weeks, months or years, and have a delayed onset of therapeutic action. Drugs used for an immediate euphoric effect only are not generally considered antidepressants.
Despite the name, antidepressants are often used in the treatment of other conditions, including anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, eating disorders and chronic pain. Some have also become known as lifestyle drugs, sometimes referred to as "mood brighteners". Conversely, other medications not known as antidepressants, including antipsychotics in low doses and benzodiazepines are also widely used to manage depression.
History of herbals used for depression:
St John's Wort (as a "nerve tonic") had long been used to alleviate depression (amongst many other things), but iproniazid was the first synthetic chemical compound generally accepted as an antidepressant. The chemical from which it was derived, isoniazid was independently recognized as having clinically significant effects on depression, in 1952 by Jean-Francois Buisson in France and Max Lurie in the United States, after it had come into widespread use as a treatment for tuberculosis.
St. John's Wort is a plant with yellow flowers.
Common Names for St John's Wort:
Uses forSt John's Wort:
For centuries, St. John's Wort has been used to treat mental disorders and nerve pain. In ancient times, herbalists wrote about its use as a sedative and a treatment for malaria, as well as a balm for wounds, burns, and insect bites. Some for depression, anxiety, and/or sleep disorders use St. John’s Wort.
Side Effects forSt John's Wort:
Research shows that St. John's Wort interacts with some drugs. The herb affects the way the body processes or breaks down many drugs; in some cases, it may speed or slow a drug's breakdown. Drugs that can be affected by St John's Wort:
Indinavir and possibly other drugs used to control HIV infection
Irinotecan and possibly other drugs used to treat cancer
Cyclosporine, which prevents the body from rejecting transplanted organs
Digoxin, which strengthens heart muscle contractions
Warfarin and related anticoagulants
Birth control pills
When combined with certain antidepressants, St. John's Wort may increase side effects such as nausea, anxiety, headache, and confusion.
It is important to inform your health care providers about any herb or dietary supplement you are using, including St. John's Wort. This helps to ensure safe and coordinated care.
How It Is Used
The flowering tops of St. John's Wort are used to prepare teas and tablets containing concentrated extracts.
Other Herbal used as Anti Depressants are:
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