The herb St. John's Wort, or Hypericum perforatum
, has received a huge amount of press coverage for reportedly being a pick-me-up with few side effects, leading thousands of people who suspect they may be depressed to take it and see what happens. There are several problems with this approach: Some of these people may have serious mood disorders that require treatment by a mental-health professional, while others may be depressed due to underlying psychological distress that could be better treated with therapy. Still others may use the herb incorrectly, since "natural" products such as this come in a variety of potencies and with differing package instructions. So while you should
see a physician, psychologist, or qualified herbalist before taking St. John's Wort, if you don't, you should at least consult an informative book, of which The Natural Prozac Program
is a perfect example. Zuess is a full-blown advocate of the herb, touting it as a treatment for everything from insomnia and anxiety to influenza. But he also provides important advice on such topics as when not
to take St. John's Wort; how some foods, medications, and nutritional supplements may interact with the herb; what to look for when purchasing it; and how to take it so it's most effective. In keeping with his holistic approach, he even describes how to grow your own.
From the Inside Flap
"This little book not only offers an elegant therapeutic tool for a common problem, it also serves as a prototype for a more humane and enlightened way of dealing with health and illness that is both new and ancient. "
Rudolph Ballentine, M.D.,
author of Diet and Nutrition: A Holistic Approach
Mild and moderate depression affects millions of Americans. If you suffer from depression yet feel uneasy about taking prescription drugs, or if you are currently taking one like Prozac, you should know about St. John's wort, the natural alternative. This book details how to use this powerful yet gentle herb, which has been proven in clinical tests to relieve mild and moderate depression with fewer side effects (and at a lesser cost) than any prescription antidepressant. St. John's wort does not cause drowsiness, interact with alcohol, or interfere with one's ability to concentrate or dream, as do some prescription drugs. In fact, St. John's wort has been shown to enhance the brain's problem-solving capabilities. Nature's medicine, St. John's wort nurtures the mind-body's own healing response instead of suppressing it, as do the harsher drugs made in laboratories.
Known to traditional herbalists for centuries, St. John's wort is currently prescribed to millions of Europeans and has been the subject of numerous clinical trials in Great Britain. Americans are just beginning to realize the efficacy of this natural antidepressant, which is widely available at health food stores and by mail order. With simple instructions on dosages and who should and should not take the herb, this book tells you everything you need to know about St. John's wort in order to use it safely and effectively.