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Anxiety Depression Herb - St. John's Wort

How much should one take? Well, the consensus from the various providers' packaging and from the newsgroup seems to be 900 mg/day, preferably spaced out through the course of the day. Most of the OTC sources had dosages ranging from 150 mg to 900 mg, taking one or more tablets three times daily with meals. Only one OTC was a 900 mg timed release. Costs varied widely, with Natrol proving to be the least expensive (at the time this article was written). Their 900 mg tablet, 200-per-bottle at $24.99 amounted to just 12.5 cents [100 cents = 1USD] per day or a net outlay of $11.24 by the end of the three month building up period. The most expensive was Movana (at the time this article was written), which came in dosages of 300 mg, 36-per-package at $10.99, amounting to 91.6 cents per day or $82.42 expended before one was likely to realize any benefits.

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Harmonex combined their SJW with ginseng, which has its own set of pros and cons, though it is probably included because it counteracts fatigue, damage from stress and enhances the adrenals and memory. Sundown Herbs added not only ginseng to their SJW, but also ginkgo biloba, which enhances blood flow, and ginger, which counters nausea, among other things. Ginkgo is a PAF- inhibitor (PAF means platelet activation factor). Persons with clotting disorders, pregnant or under 2yo should not take anything containing Ginkgo. Ginger is generally considered safe for people of all ages and conditions.

St.-John's-Wort has also proven beneficial for AIDS sufferers, due most likely to its high concentrations of some potential immune-modulating chemicals, known as flavonoids. AIDS sufferers are recommended to peruse articles published in the newsletter AIDS Treatment News for case reports and surveys of sufferers using SJW as part of their treatment modality. (Personally, I would also recommend Kombucha to HIV-positive individuals as there have been several reports of beneficial results with Kombucha Tea.)

Following is a table of all the OTC brands I found at my local drugstore, plus one found at my natural foods membership co-op (Nature's Way). I've ranked them according to cost-per-day, as, all things being equal, there is probably no other significant difference between these products. Differences according to plant quality, harvesting methods, and tablet preparation, as well as binding substances, are unknowns I am not equipped to analyze. I leave that up to individual consumers to investigate and pass judgment on themselves.

Keep in mind these are shelf prices that do NOT include taxes, since tax rates vary too widely to address here. My rate, for instance, is 8.75% but there are over a dozen different rates here in California alone. To determine costs for your region, multiply the package price by your tax rate and add this to derive a gross cost. Divide the gross cost by the number of tablets per package, then multiply by the number of tablets one would need to consume to equal 900 mg/day. This will give you a cost per day. Multiply this number by 90 days to find out the amount you would have to spend before realizing any concrete benefits, or by 30 days to figure your monthly expenditures. Remember, this product will be an out-of-pocket expense in most cases, unless it is prescribed by a physician, which is probably unlikely, given the availability of prescription antidepressants like Prozac.

DISCLAIMER: These prices/products may not be current or available in your locale.

$0.12495 Natrol 900 mg 200 @ $24.99
$0.2798 Sundown Herbals 300 mg 150 @ $13.99
$0.2898 Nature's Way 450 mg 100 @ $14.49
$0.2996 NaturaLife 510 mg 50 @ $7.49
$0.3329 Sundown Herbals 300 mg 72 @ $7.99
$0.356 Twin Lab Timed Release 900 mg 14 @ $4.99
$0.5495 Nature Made 300 mg 60 @ $10.99
$0.5495 Sundown Herbals
w/Ginkgo Biloba,
Ginseng & Ginger
300 mg 60 @ $10.99
$0.5994 NaturaLife 300 mg 50 @ $9.99
$0.5996 Harmonex
450 mg 60 @ $17.99
$0.699 Nature's Resource 300 mg 30 @ $6.99
$0.7326 Harmonex
450 mg 30 @ $10.99
$0.7794 Nature's Resource 150 mg 100 @ $12.99
$0.9158 Movana 300 mg 36 @ $10.99

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