2400 Years of Successful Use

he three pre-eminent physicians of the ancient world - Dioscorides, Pliny, and the father of Western medicine himself, Hippocrates - all came to the same conclusion about treating the disorder we now call "depression." They each prescribed an herb with the strange name, St. John's wort, also known as Hypericum perforatum.

While many old herbal folk remedies are eventually surpassed in efficacy (if not in safety) by new high-tech pharmaceutical entities, St. John's wort has stood the test of time. Controlled scientific studies conducted 2400 years after the "founding fathers" first prescribed it confirm that the ingredients in Hypericum perforatum, especially hypericin, are safer and at least as effective for treating mild to moderate depression and anxiety as the selective serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), among the most advanced drugs the pharmaceutical industry has to offer. (The best known of these drugs are Prozac,® Zoloft® and Paxil.®)

Despite its long history of use, Hypericum is a newcomer to "new world" physicians, most of whom have completely lost touch with the folk and herbal roots of their profession. In Europe, though, physicians are generally less reliant on the results of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, pharmaceutical company-sponsored, FDA-approved clinical trials published in English-language journals to tell them how to practice medicine.

Given a choice between the SSRIs and hypericin, European physicians prefer hypericin by a wide margin. In Germany, alone, over 20 million people take more than 66 million doses each day. This figure represents more than 50% of all the prescriptions written for depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders. St. John's wort outsells Prozac in Germany by 20 to 1. The reasons are clear enough:

  • Clinical studies - many of them double-blind, placebo-controlled - in more than 5000 patients have shown that hypericin relieves depression in 50 to 80% of patients, the same statistics associated with prescription SSRIs.
  • These same trials found that hypericin produces far fewer unpleasant side effects. In more than 2000 years of use, there has never been a fatality attributed to hypericin.
  • A natural product, hypericin costs far less than expensive patented, synthetic SSRIs.

You don't need a doctor's prescription to purchase hypericin. In his new book, St. John's Wort: Nature's Feel-Good Herb, Ray Sahelian, M.D., notes that extracts of this herb are associated with:

  • A greater sense of well-being
  • Increased alertness
  • Increased productivity
  • More energy
  • Enhanced sociability

What can hypericin do for you? Why not try some and find out? What worked for Hippocrates can still work for you.

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