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Can St. John's Wort Beat the Blues?

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Q. This time of year, when the weather is bad and there isn't much sunlight, I get really down in the dumps. I have found that St. John's wort can help me out of my funk and it doesn't ruin my sex life or give me insomnia the way Paxil or Zoloft do.

I have read that St. John's wort might not be compatible with some prescription medicines. What problems would there be if I took it with my diabetes medicine? Are there any other interactions I should know about?

A. St. John's wort remains a controversial herb against the blues. Several studies have shown it can be effective against mild to moderate depression. Other research has demonstrated no benefit for more severe depression. A review of complementary medicine for depression concluded that St. John's wort can be helpful (Canadian Family Physician, June, 2011).

It is less likely than Prozac or similar antidepressants to cause insomnia or sexual side effects. But St. John's wort can interact with many medications.

We are sending you our Guides to St. John's Wort, Antidepressants and Grapefruit Interactions: this herb will interact with many of the same drugs affected by grapefruit, but it reduces rather than raises blood levels.

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The website " pilladvised.com" is an excellent source of information on combining supplements and prescription medications. For instance, if you take fish oil, you learn that it works better if you also take garlic.

Get your vitamin D level checked and then take a supplement as necessary to get the D3 up to at least 60. It will make a huge difference in your mood and health. The correct test is 25(OH)D.

Someone told me they beat SAD by taking Vitamin D and that it has always worked for them.
Is there any corroboration for that?

I started taking Kava Kava drops for testing anxiety. I have also found it to be useful when taken before social gatherings. I would like to take Kava to assist in smoking cessation There is conflicting website information as to the safety and amount of consumption. I take 20mg of Ritalin daily..

I tried St John's Wort over 10 years ago. It upset my stomach so I returned the balance for refund. Don't remember if I took it with food at the time.

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