Monday, November 03, 2008

How a Wort Might Make You Smile

news you may not know

It Really Does Make You Smile...

121 million people.

That's the number of people globally suffering from depression. That's a huge number and something that impacts virtually everyone. If you're not one of the depressed it's highly likely your life has been touched by someone who is.

So, what's to be done? Well, the most common approach is to ignore the situation. That seems to be the standard response to many of life's difficulties, especially in countries like the United States. But, though popular, the approach appears to be wholly without merit.

So, of course, the next answer is to turn to medications. Now, nothing against medications, but there are times the side effects are so severe it makes one long for the days of simple debility.

And, when folks get really desperate, they turn to good old Mother Nature for remedies made from the barks of ancient trees and the roots of exotic weeds. So it is with St. John's Wort. The very name conjures up images of ghastly growths protruding from the face and neck, peeking out from beneath he collar. (With apologies to the more famous common wart)

But, in fact, a recent analysis reveals St. John's Wort to be a powerful antidepressant. As a matter of fact, the natural remedy was found to be every bit as effective as mainline medications in fighting depression - but without the accompanying side effects.

The Cochrane Review, a journal that analyses medical studies, reviewed 29 studies from around the globe, which included over 5,000 participants. They found the results were especially impressive in Germany, where the quality controls on St. John's Wort are high and physicians routinely prescribe the natural remedy for depression.

A note of caution - St. John's Wort can impact the activity of other medications and should only be used with appropriate medical advice.

So who knows? Maybe St. John's Wort will work wonders and put some smiles back on the faces of millions of people who could use a lift - let's keep our fingers crossed.

To read more about the study, see this from Reuters. To learn more about St. John's Wort, see this from the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine.


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