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St Johns wort?

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by heapsreal, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Hi,

    Many of us have tried regular antidepressants at one time or another but many of us cfsers seem to get side effects from them, more so then the general public it seems.

    On paper it seems that if a substance can increase our neurotransmitters then it could or should not only help improve mood and depression but also cognitive energy and concentration as well as memory etc etc.

    Many have turned to more natural substances like 5 htp, tryptophan or sAME as an alternative to an antidepressant and it seems that they dont have anywhere near the same side effects.

    St johns wort is something i havent heard many people say they have used on here. Its been a long time since i used SJW and it was pre cfs and i used it as more of an energy boost for sport then anything else and from memory it worked ok. But i would like to hear others experiences with it, any side effects etc and if it not only helped mood but cognitive issues etc. The above substances i typed enhance serotonin but i believe SJW enhances serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine, a triple whammy.:thumbsup:

    Also im not against antidepressants but looking for alternatives that could help us with our cognitive issues including mood, memory, concentration, anxiety etc etc.

    So im interested to hear what people have to say.

    cheers!!!
     
  2. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    I think a well formulated SJW is a good alternative to antidepressants. The formulations "Kira" and "Perika" have lots of clinical evidence behind them. I unfortunately developed a rash on it (known side effect for some) and had to discontinue. You're right it increases DA, NE as well as serotonin, but the focus is definitely on serotonin. I think it is especially useful for HPA axis dysregulation. It tends to (at least partially) normalize the HPA axis, similar to the effect of SSRIs, though SJW is milder. I'd say that if you have mild to moderate depression, give it a go. If you have major depression, get on a pharmaceutical.
     
  3. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    there must be something else in antidepressants to give out all those side effects, when a natural substance increases the same neurotransmitters and yet alot less side effects?? Im going to buy a bottle locally tomorrow and see what it does, i can just see myself doing cart wheeels down the street, lol:rofl:
     
  4. svetoslav80

    svetoslav80 svetoslav80 at gmail.com

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    I use St Johns wort occasionally, but more for recreational purposes rather than healing. I take relatively high doses, 2-3 times the recommended dosage. It gives me a pleasant feeling of relaxation, and yes, it clears my brain fog. Unfortunately, these nice effects disappears after 3 consecutive days of use, so I only use it about 3 days in a month.
     
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  5. Misfit Toy

    Misfit Toy Senior Member

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    SJW-I developed the rash as well and felt super racy on it. I believe it was an allergic reaction. What about tyrosine? That helped me with depression a lot at one time. Although, I think it helps more with dopamine.
     
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  6. tandrsc

    tandrsc

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    I'm giving SJW a go at the moment, but can't say I have noticed anything to report as yet.

    However, if you are looking to clear your foggy head, the following combination cleared mine up a treat:

    Lemon balm tincture (Melissa)
    Black seed oil (Nigella sativa)

    Before starting these I couldn't read more than 1 or 2 sentences without the words merging together and my eyes/head hurting. I can now read 1 or 2 pages without any trouble at all.
     
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  7. perchance dreamer

    perchance dreamer Senior Member

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    I've had interesting mood and energy boosting effects from trying citicoline and lecithin, but have had problems with both, unfortunately.

    I had read a recent thread here on citicoline and got Jarrow 250 MG. It made me really sleepy at first, but hours later it lit up my brain like a pinball machine.

    I can't tell you what a great mood I experienced. I also got a minor energy boost.

    However, it gave me sleep problems at first, and after a week, I just felt fatigue with no upside. So I discontinued it.

    However, I did get the good mood and energy effect after discontinuing it several days. But then I had the sleep problem again.

    The other thing I tried is lecithin. My nutritionist had recommended it for brain function.

    I went for broke and took the full 1 TBS of granules in the morning by cooking it in my eggs. I quickly got a big energy boost that lasted until dinner.

    It also boosted my mood, but not as much as citicoline. However, I prefer the lecithin effect because I didn't have to go through hours of being sleepy before the good stuff kicked in.

    Of course, it really screwed up my sleep. This is a common pattern for me.

    Now I've backed down to 1/8 tsp. of lecithin granules and will try to gradually work up to a level where I feel the good effects again.

    An advantage of lecithin granules is that they are so cheap for what you get. A pound of Bluebonnet Non-GMO Lecithin Granules is around $14. I'm going to store a lot of mine in the freezer until I use it.

    I usually stay away from soy, but lecithin granules are derived from the oil, not the protein, so they don't have the phyto-estrogen effect.

    From reading user reviews of citicoline and lecithin, I think my reactions are far from common. So many people don't seem to notice any effects, but take it because both these nutrients are supposed to be good for the brain.

    I have mild narcolepsy and did read today that choline is supposed to be beneficial, so maybe that's why they affect me so much.
     
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  8. Sushi

    Sushi Senior Member Albuquerque

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    St John's wort can vary a great deal from brand to brand. Different brands use different part of the plant and there is no guarantee of potency. I was advised to get pharmaceutical grade hypericum (I found it at a compounding pharmacy) because then you know your dose.

    It gave me migraines unfortunately--probably from raising serotonin. I was looking for the norepinephrine effect to help OI.

    Sushi
     
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  9. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    I tried New Chapter's St. John's wort which is supposed to be a pretty potent extract, but it didn't seem to help. I seem to remember it getting good customer reviews too. I'm not sure if I tried upping the dose or not. New Chapter has full spectrum extracts rather than standardized so you get all the active constituents including hyperforins and hypericins.

    I've tried just about every supplemental antidepressant and only SSRIs seem to work. SNRIs don't work for me either. I've tried St. John's wort a few times since I've been on SSRIs and I think it might help a little.

    St. John's wort is also supposed to be good for the immune system, but I'm not exactly sure how it works. It induces certain cytochrome P450 enzymes, but inhibits others. However, it seems its induction action is stronger than its inhibitory action. And it is used for pain and inflammation.
     
  10. Sushi

    Sushi Senior Member Albuquerque

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    Lotus97

    I'd be cautious about mixing St. John's wort with SSRIs because of the possibility of serotonin syndrome.

    Sushi
     
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  11. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    snri's sound interesting and the noradrenaline part appears it would help with energy plus a bonus of helping pain(chronic back issues) but i have had a bad experience with effexor, mostly due to the doctor i was with at the time who kept upping the dose until my cfs symptoms were gone, supposedly. lower doses were ok and made me feel better about feeling like crap but when the dose was upped i got the the point where my brain felt like it was motoring along to fast all the time. we then started to taper off and i had more issues where it felt like my brain was doing somersaults even going back up didnt stop this. eventually just changed over to ssri(zoloft) and then tapered off. My experience with effexor was pretty aweful and has scared me off but i do think the lower doses of it were ok.

    Another issue i have is that im on tramadol for my back 200mg slow release. I see my doc next week so maybe i could talk to him about a low dose of duloxetine which could also help my back pain as well as just using 50mg tabs of tramadol when needed??? Maybe im hurrying things along too quickly and just need more time for things to improve. I think im just getting abit frustrated as i have improved alot and functioning better then most cfsers at the moment but still have that bit of lethargy going on which i want to get on top of. I have to remind myself that there are others alot worse off then me.

    It s a strange thing but when i was functioning at a 3 out of 10 i would have given my right arm to feel like i do now, 8 out of 10. now that im an 8 im still frustrated as i still want to get back to where i was 11 years ago. maybe im being greedy??? at a 3 out of 10 i couldnt even see the finish line, now that im an 8 i can see the finish line but cant get there. I probably should just shut up and be greatful for what i have got. enough whinging and whinning.

    cheers!!!
     
  12. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    I tried 3 different SNRIs. Effexor didn't do much at low doses and I only got side effects at higher doses. I've heard Effexor has pretty nasty discontinuation symptoms for some people, but I didn't experience any. Pristiq did absolutely nothing, but when I stopped I had insomnia for nearly two weeks. From what I've read it also has very bad discontinuation symptoms such as the insomnia I experienced as well as other symptoms. The third one I tried was Cymbalta. It might have helped a little, but it also made me angry and I was getting in fights with my parents. I know someone who says Cymbalta helps her with depression and also pain (although she's also on Lyrica so that's also helping with pain). Pristiq is incredibly expensive and I assume Cymbalta is too since they're both under patent.

    As for SSRIs Prozac was working pretty good, but I thought Paxil would be less stimulating based on an experience with it 10 years ago so I switched recently to Paxil. I'm a little bit more calm, but switching didn't help nearly as much as I thought though. It seems that Prozac was also helping my ADD/brain fog a bit too which is why I'm considering switching back at some point. I think the reason for the stimulation and help with ADD from Prozac is because unlike most SSRIs Prozac also increases norepinephrine and dopamine: http://www.biopsychiatry.com/fluoxdopnor.htm
    I'm not sure if I'm more sensitive now or it's a different brand, but I didn't notice these effects when I was on Prozac when I was younger.
     
  13. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    heapsreal
    If Effexor worked at a low dose, why not just take that again?
     
  14. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Hi Heapsreal,

    I'm into St. John's Wort! A few years ago, I decided to learn how to wildcraft St. John's Wort (SJW) and make an herbal tincture with it. It grows wild and abundantly here in Southern Oregon, and I was able to find a large open area (many acres) of it. The place I found is in the mountains where there is an incredible vista of mountain peaks and lakes in the distance. (Almost feels like a different exotic planet or something).

    In the past, I’ve made extra SJW tincture, and have given it away to many friends and acquaintances. My partner, a professional counselor, has provided it to several of her clients. Almost all have reported significant improvement in many of their symptoms, including depression and insomnia. What I've found to be a primary attribute is that it seems to exude a calming and supportive energy, which I first noticed while harvesting it.

    Recently, a good friend of ours said she was dealing with depression, and we offered her some of our tincture. We just heard back from her and she is very happy with the results. Not only has her depression lifted, but her memory has improved fairly dramatically. She had begun to wonder if she was getting Alzheimer's it had gotten so bad. Since beginning to feel better, some of her co-workers have confided to her that they were getting worried about her, and they've noticed that she is now doing so much better.

    I fully realize that not everyone has the same results with different medications and/or herbal formulas. But I believe that the reason so many of the people who have tried our tincture and gotten good results is because of 1) the energy of the area from which is was harvested, 2) only buds and flowers were used (as opposed to the entire stalky plant), and 3) I double macerated it, which gives it a double strength.

    I suspect that different formulations of SJW will give different results. I saw a video once where the whole plant SJW was being cut and baled. I can't imagine it would have the same therapeutic benefits as a product that was hand-picked, using only flowers and buds. -- Another point: Some people believe the therapeutic benefits of SJW are more attributable to its ability to detoxify the brain (may be similar to lithium in this regard), than its ability to modulate neurotransmitter activity. My own guess is that it's probably both.

    Best, Wayne
     
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  15. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    Wayne
    I've heard some people say SJW loses effectiveness after a month or two. Have you or your partner observed this?
     
  16. adreno

    adreno PR activist

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    Effexor has a nasty reputation. It's basically a dirty SSRI. Milnacipran is probably a better option, as far as SNRIs go. The ratio of 5-HT to NE for effexor is about 30:1, for milnacipran it's about 3:1.

    Another option, which I have used, is to combine a NRI with a SSRI. I used reboxetine with fluoxetine for a while. The advantage is that you can tailor the 5-HT:NE ratio to your specific needs. Withdrawals are also much easier, because you are only withdrawing from one neurotransmitter. It's the 5-HT that causes the nasty withdrawals, not the NE.

    And I agree with Sushi, don't mix SJW with antidepressants. It's bad news.
     
  17. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Hi Lotus,

    I've heard that all herbal therapies should be taken intermittently, so they don't end up losing their effectiveness. I gave a lot of SJW tincture to a sister with some very major health and depression issues, and it was a "miracle" product for her for about 2-3 years, at which time it seemed to lose its effectiveness. I suspect if she had used it intermittently, she could have avoided it eventually become less effective.

    Interesting, her husband tried it, but found that it made him very agitated. He was an angry guy to begin with, but I share that tidbit because a person never knows how something is going to affect them. One's person's elixir can easily be another person's ........ (hmmmm, what's the opposite of elixir?) :)
     
  18. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    There's also Strattera which is prescribed for ADD, but works as an NRI.
     
  19. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

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    I ended up with depression for a while with the ME and at that time tried St Johns Wort (after I'd trialed various SSRI's when I wasnt even depressed in the past but got bad side affects with all of those I tried, so I wasnt about to go for a SSRI).

    sorry I forgot what brand I took but it was EXCELLENT for depression... I was feeling much happier (I was only on it for less then 2 weeks.. it may of only been 3-5 days). Issue was it ended up giving me a very wild scary trip (probably as bad as any illegal drug could do to someone). It started makin my mood swing severly every few seconds into severely different moods which just made me feel like I was going crazy. Like some kind of wild trip of bipolar. It was a hellish nightmare and I will NEVER touch St John's Wort again. (its the only time Ive ever had an incident like that one). So I rate that in my two worst "supplement" or "herbal med" reactions ever.

    Imagine falling from a height for a few seconds, then imagine being insanely happy for a few seconds.. then imagine being the angiest you ever been in your life for the next few seconds etc on to a different emotion.. I'd laugh for a few seconds then cry for a few seconds etc..
    Fortunately the wild trip only was chopping and changing emotions like that for several minutes..but it was a terrifiying experience to experience emotional shifts that fast and that many!!. Makes me grateful that our human emotions tend to be stable.

    ultra, ultra rapid bipolar trip????? (I dont have bipolar and the SSRIs never caused me THAT reaction.. they just tended to give me headaches or make me feel nauseus etc)
     

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