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Complement Ther Med. 2006 Dec;14(4):268-81. Epub 2006 Feb 28.

St John's wort for depression: time for a different perspective?

Author information

1
Research Council for Complementary Medicine, London, UK. k.pilkington@westminster.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To review the development of the evidence on the herbal remedy, St John's wort (SJW) (Hypericum perforatum), in the treatment of depression.

METHODS:

Searches of major biomedical and specialist databases including EMBASE, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, AMED and HerbMed were conducted. Searches aimed to identify quantitative research (systematic reviews and meta-analyses) and relevant qualitative studies. Data were extracted systematically.

RESULTS:

Systematic reviews have been published regularly over the past 10 years. Methodology has varied resulting in differing estimates of effectiveness but overall findings have been positive when compared with placebo for mild to moderate depression. Recent reviews have focused on adverse effects and interactions. One qualitative study focusing on SJW in depression was retrieved.

CONCLUSIONS:

SJW has received intensive and continued attention since initial indications of its potential effectiveness for depression. The focus appears to be moving from effectiveness to safety but the patient's perspective has received less attention and may prove a valuable avenue for future studies.

PMID:
17105697
DOI:
10.1016/j.ctim.2006.01.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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