St.John's Wort for Bipolar Affective Disorder 
Author Message
 St.John's Wort for Bipolar Affective Disorder

I was speaking to someone recently who told me about someone
he knew whom he described as manic-depressive but who was
not seeing a shrink about it. Instead he described the individual
in question as self-adminstering St.John's Wort to control
the condition.

Since I know nothing about this subject, I would like to know
whether St.John's Wort can in fact be used to treat manic-depression
and, if so, what is the active principle that makes this possible.

Ignorantly,
Allan Adler



Fri, 14 Jul 2000 03:00:00 GMT
 St.John's Wort for Bipolar Affective Disorder

Bipolar disorder is so serious, I wouldn't play games with it.
Antidepressants are sometimes given for BPD, when the person is intolerant
to lithium, or does not respond to it.  But this is done under a
psychiatrist's care, with lots of feedback so s/he can know they are
getting it right.  Antidepressants do not treat the manic stage.  Quite
often, if a person likes his manic stage and does not take his meds until
the last minute before the crash, he guesses wrong, is too late, and then
the lithium doesn't work during the depressive stage.



:
: I was speaking to someone recently who told me about someone
: he knew whom he described as manic-depressive but who was
: not seeing a shrink about it. Instead he described the individual
: in question as self-adminstering St.John's Wort to control
: the condition.
:
: Since I know nothing about this subject, I would like to know
: whether St.John's Wort can in fact be used to treat manic-depression
: and, if so, what is the active principle that makes this possible.
:
: Ignorantly,
: Allan Adler

:



Sun, 16 Jul 2000 03:00:00 GMT
 St.John's Wort for Bipolar Affective Disorder



Quote:

> I was speaking to someone recently who told me about someone
> he knew whom he described as manic-depressive but who was
> not seeing a shrink about it. Instead he described the individual
> in question as self-adminstering St.John's Wort to control
> the condition.

> Since I know nothing about this subject, I would like to know
> whether St.John's Wort can in fact be used to treat manic-depression
> and, if so, what is the active principle that makes this possible.

> Ignorantly,
> Allan Adler

> Hi Allan, I'm a nurse with an interest in herbal preparations, recently

read a good article in a Healthy Living Guide about St. John's wort written
by Ronald Reichert, a naturopthaic doctor from Vancouver.  This herb
apparently works in ways similar to the three main classes of
anti-depressants- MAOIs, tricyclics, and SSRIs- in that St. John's wort
inhibits the brain uptake of serotonin, which we need to have floating
around in the brain to  feel un-depressed.  The active ingredients might be
hypericin, quercitrin and hyperforin.In a study done in Germany (from this
same article) the herb worked as effectively as a regular anti-depressant
in 45-50% of cases.
 I do know some people who have taken it and do feel it helps.  It is
recommended for mild to moderate cases of depression.  Since I've seen the
amazing things other herbs can do why knock Mother Nature, all our real
cures are in her wonderful world.  I'm sure there will be more studies into
this herb.  Hope this helps.
Colleen


Mon, 17 Jul 2000 03:00:00 GMT
 St.John's Wort for Bipolar Affective Disorder

In bi-polars, anti-depressants are often avoided, especially without a
mood stabilizer on board, because anti-depressants alone often trigger
manic episodes. While I don't know if this would be the case with SJW,
(although I wouldn't be surprised), I would strongly encourage this
person to get some competent help to find out. Third and fourth-hand
medical advice from a group of primarily lay people is NOT competent help!

Susan

PS I just re-read my posting and it sounds harsher than I meant but I'm
going to leave it that way because I do want to make it emphatic.

: I was speaking to someone recently who told me about someone
: he knew whom he described as manic-depressive but who was
: not seeing a shrink about it. Instead he described the individual
: in question as self-adminstering St.John's Wort to control
: the condition.

: Since I know nothing about this subject, I would like to know
: whether St.John's Wort can in fact be used to treat manic-depression
: and, if so, what is the active principle that makes this possible.

: Ignorantly,
: Allan Adler

--



Tue, 18 Jul 2000 03:00:00 GMT
 St.John's Wort for Bipolar Affective Disorder

Oops- an apology guys!!!

When I just posted about SJW and bipolar, I
forgot that this was sci.psychology.psychotherapy. I was thinking that
this was the alt.support.depression list. (Of course my rather abrasive
tone wasn't particularly appropriate there either.) I regularly read that
group and it's a terrific support for depressed folks but I worry that
passing medical-type advice back and forth can create some dangerous
situations.

What DO we know about SJW as a trigger for manic episodes in bipolars?

Susan

: I was speaking to someone recently who told me about someone
: he knew whom he described as manic-depressive but who was
: not seeing a shrink about it. Instead he described the individual
: in question as self-adminstering St.John's Wort to control
: the condition.

: Since I know nothing about this subject, I would like to know
: whether St.John's Wort can in fact be used to treat manic-depression
: and, if so, what is the active principle that makes this possible.

: Ignorantly,
: Allan Adler

--



Tue, 18 Jul 2000 03:00:00 GMT
 St.John's Wort for Bipolar Affective Disorder


<snip>

Quote:
>> Since I know nothing about this subject, I would like to know
>> whether St.John's Wort can in fact be used to treat manic-depression
>> and, if so, what is the active principle that makes this possible.

<snip>

Quote:
>> Hi Allan, I'm a nurse with an interest in herbal preparations, recently
>read a good article in a Healthy Living Guide about St. John's wort written
>by Ronald Reichert, a naturopthaic doctor from Vancouver.  This herb
>apparently works in ways similar to the three main classes of
>anti-depressants- MAOIs, tricyclics, and SSRIs- in that St. John's wort

<snip>

The primary presumed active ingredient in St. John's Wort (Hypericum) is
hypericin, which is an MAO inhibitor according to several research
studies.  As such, it is a substance that may be prone to dangerous
interactions with a large number of medications and foods containing
tyramine (e.g., red wine, aged cheeses, fava beans, chicken livers, etc).
Caution in its use is strongly recommended.  Just because it's from Mother
Nature doesn't mean it's safe- witness foxglove and datura.

Secondly, St. John's Wort has been researched as an antidepressant and as
a topical treatment for wounds.  It has not, to my knowledge, been
identified as an effective, safe or appropriate treatment for bipolar
disorder.  In fact, sicne other antidepressants can trigger a manic
episode in people with bipolar disorder, there is reasonably some risk for
this with St. John's Wort as well.

--
Going where the wind don't blow so strange,
maybe off on some high cold mountain range.

-Robert Hunter



Tue, 18 Jul 2000 03:00:00 GMT
 St.John's Wort for Bipolar Affective Disorder

Why don't you check out Dr. Andrew Weil's Web Page: drweil.com

He is a respected physician and teaches at the University of Arizona. As a
matter of fact, his medical degree is from Harvard University. He
specializes in integrative medicine. In other words, he believes in using
diet, exercise, herbs, and other natural products combined with traditional
medicine. My wife and I have been following him for almost a year and have
found him to be quite balanced and sane. When you arrive on his web page,
click on "archive", it's on the left on my screen, and scan through the
questions. He has answered several questions about St. John's Wort and
depression. In my opinion, his advice is the best you're going to get
without falling into quackery.

Good Luck.
Alan



Quote:

> I was speaking to someone recently who told me about someone
> he knew whom he described as manic-depressive but who was
> not seeing a shrink about it. Instead he described the individual
> in question as self-adminstering St.John's Wort to control
> the condition.

> Since I know nothing about this subject, I would like to know
> whether St.John's Wort can in fact be used to treat manic-depression
> and, if so, what is the active principle that makes this possible.

> Ignorantly,
> Allan Adler




Tue, 18 Jul 2000 03:00:00 GMT
 St.John's Wort for Bipolar Affective Disorder

This discussion keeps focussing on whether St. John's Wort is good for
depression. But we need to be careful not to confuse bi-polar
(manic-depression) with unipolar depression. Medication for unipolar
depression often worsens symptomatology for a bipolar.

This guy asked about someone who is bipolar!

Susan

P.S. (Am I just being cranky again?)

: I was speaking to someone recently who told me about someone
: he knew whom he described as manic-depressive but who was
: not seeing a shrink about it. Instead he described the individual
: in question as self-adminstering St.John's Wort to control
: the condition.

: Since I know nothing about this subject, I would like to know
: whether St.John's Wort can in fact be used to treat manic-depression
: and, if so, what is the active principle that makes this possible.

: Ignorantly,
: Allan Adler

--



Wed, 19 Jul 2000 03:00:00 GMT
 St.John's Wort for Bipolar Affective Disorder


Quote:

>Why don't you check out Dr. Andrew Weil's Web Page: drweil.com

>He is a respected physician and teaches at the University of Arizona. As a
>matter of fact, his medical degree is from Harvard University. He
>specializes in integrative medicine. In other words, he believes in using
>diet, exercise, herbs, and other natural products combined with traditional
>medicine. My wife and I have been following him for almost a year and have
>found him to be quite balanced and sane. When you arrive on his web page,
>click on "archive", it's on the left on my screen, and scan through the
>questions. He has answered several questions about St. John's Wort and
>depression. In my opinion, his advice is the best you're going to get
>without falling into quackery.

Dr. Weil is a bit more controversial than that.  His books recommend
unproven health practices and untested remedies and he is sharply
criticized by many physicians for this.

Having said that, I personally find his willingness to consider
non-allopathic medicine refreshing.  He does attempt to correct many myths
(e.g., the safety of comfrey taken internally) in alternative health
care.  Most of his recommendations should do no harm and may indeed help,
at least to some extent.  He also promotes the idea of balance, which is
sadly lacking in allopathic medical care, along with the idea of
prevention.  And I think that Dr. Weil is more likely to have read the
existing scientific research into herbal treatments than is the typical
alternative health care practitioner.

--
Reach out your hand if your cup is empty;
if your cup is full, may it be again.

-Robert Hunter



Thu, 20 Jul 2000 03:00:00 GMT
 St.John's Wort for Bipolar Affective Disorder

Quote:





>>> Since I know nothing about this subject, I would like to know
>>> whether St.John's Wort can in fact be used to treat manic-depression
>>> and, if so, what is the active principle that makes this possible.
>>> Hi Allan, I'm a nurse with an interest in herbal preparations, recently
>>read a good article in a Healthy Living Guide about St. John's wort written
>>by Ronald Reichert, a naturopthaic doctor from Vancouver.  This herb
>>apparently works in ways similar to the three main classes of
>>anti-depressants- MAOIs, tricyclics, and SSRIs- in that St. John's wort
>The primary presumed active ingredient in St. John's Wort (Hypericum) is
>hypericin, which is an MAO inhibitor according to several research
>studies.  As such, it is a substance that may be prone to dangerous
>interactions with a large number of medications and foods containing
>tyramine (e.g., red wine, aged cheeses, fava beans, chicken livers, etc).
>Caution in its use is strongly recommended.

The amount of MAO inhibitor is not enough to account for its effects,
and is sufficiently small that despite its very widespread use for
decades in Germany, largely accounting for the low penetration of
Prozac there, there are no dietary cautions on its use, and no cases
of reported problems. Although a MAO inhibitor has been detected in
StJW, the general view is that there is too little to bother about,
and the mechanism of its operation is not known.

Quote:
>Secondly, St. John's Wort has been researched as an antidepressant and as
>a topical treatment for wounds.  It has not, to my knowledge, been
>identified as an effective, safe or appropriate treatment for bipolar
>disorder.  In fact, sicne other antidepressants can trigger a manic
>episode in people with bipolar disorder, there is reasonably some risk for
>this with St. John's Wort as well.

Exactly. The manic-depressive support groups hold no particular candle
for StJW, advocating its use only in cases where a mild
anti-depressant is required in *addition* to a mood stabiliser. The
treatment of bipolar disorder (manic-depression) with anti-depressants
unopposed by a mood controller is regarded by the manic-depressive
support groups with horror, as evidence of ignorance verging on
malpractice, because the consequences for the sufferer and those
caring for the sufferer can be extremely unpleasant and expensive. It
is, unfortunately, still not an uncommon practice amongst health
professionals who do not specialise in the treatment of the disorder.
--

Department of Artificial Intelligence,    Edinburgh University
5 Forrest Hill, Edinburgh, EH1 2QL, UK                DoD #205
www.dai.ed.ac.uk/daidb/people/staff/Christopher_Malcolm.html


Fri, 21 Jul 2000 03:00:00 GMT
 St.John's Wort for Bipolar Affective Disorder


Quote:

>The amount of MAO inhibitor is not enough to account for its effects,
>and is sufficiently small that despite its very widespread use for
>decades in Germany, largely accounting for the low penetration of
>Prozac there, there are no dietary cautions on its use, and no cases
>of reported problems. Although a MAO inhibitor has been detected in
>StJW, the general view is that there is too little to bother about,
>and the mechanism of its operation is not known.

Interesting.  The pharmaceutical information I was able to obtain
mentioned the MAOI aspect and failed to mention any dietary restrictions
or drug interactions.  It didn't state that there weren't any, it just
didn't address the topic.

Quote:
>>Secondly, St. John's Wort has been researched as an antidepressant and as
>>a topical treatment for wounds.  It has not, to my knowledge, been
>>identified as an effective, safe or appropriate treatment for bipolar
>>disorder.  In fact, sicne other antidepressants can trigger a manic
>>episode in people with bipolar disorder, there is reasonably some risk for
>>this with St. John's Wort as well.

>Exactly. The manic-depressive support groups hold no particular candle
>for StJW, advocating its use only in cases where a mild
>anti-depressant is required in *addition* to a mood stabiliser. The
>treatment of bipolar disorder (manic-depression) with anti-depressants
>unopposed by a mood controller is regarded by the manic-depressive
>support groups with horror, as evidence of ignorance verging on
>malpractice, because the consequences for the sufferer and those
>caring for the sufferer can be extremely unpleasant and expensive. It
>is, unfortunately, still not an uncommon practice amongst health
>professionals who do not specialise in the treatment of the disorder.

Good points, and sadly true about your last sentence.  There are not
enough support groups and other publicly available information for people
with bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illnes) in my neck of the woods.
If there were, health care consumers might be a little better educated...
and a little safer.

--
A pistol shot, at five o'clock the bells of Heaven ring.
Tell me what you done it for?
No, I won't tell you a thing.



Fri, 21 Jul 2000 03:00:00 GMT
 St.John's Wort for Bipolar Affective Disorder



Quote:

> Dr. Weil is a bit more controversial than that.  His books recommend
> unproven health practices and untested remedies and he is sharply
> criticized by many physicians for this.

> --
> Reach out your hand if your cup is empty;
> if your cup is full, may it be again.

> -Robert Hunter

It's true that Dr. Weil has some suggested remedies in his books and on his
Website that are either unproven or controversial. However, he is always
extremely careful to mention when a particular treatment is still in the
experimental process. Furthermore, he always lets the reader know when a
treatment could possibly have dangerous or unknown side effects. It's also
true the he is sharply criticized by many physicians; however, that doesn't
affect me at all. IMHO, traditional physicians have absolutely no right,
whatsoever, to criticize him, considering all the accepted treatments, ECT
and many others for example, that do outright damage.

Concerning St. John's Wort, I have no opinion because I don't know enough
about it. Concerning depression, I agree wholeheartedly with Dr. Weil that
aerobic exercise is the best way to deal with depression. Of course, there
will probably be some angry posts in response to that comment. If I
understand Doc Weil correctly, he would rather people deal with depression
through daily exercise and he only suggests things like St. John's Wort and
traditional antidepressants because he knows that most people refuse to or
are not able to exercise.

Happy Laughter,

"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the
bones."



Sat, 22 Jul 2000 03:00:00 GMT
 St.John's Wort for Bipolar Affective Disorder


<snip>

Quote:
>......... Concerning depression, I agree wholeheartedly with Dr. Weil that
>aerobic exercise is the best way to deal with depression. Of course, there
>will probably be some angry posts in response to that comment. If I
>understand Doc Weil correctly, he would rather people deal with depression
>through daily exercise and he only suggests things like St. John's Wort and
>traditional antidepressants because he knows that most people refuse to or
>are not able to exercise.

I don't see any reason for angry responses about aerobic exercise.  It is
not the most effective means of treating depression, at least not by
itself, but as part of an organized treatment plan I think exercise is
invaluable for a variety of reasons.  Exercise provides cognitive,
emotional and physicial stimulation.  It improves sleep and appetite.
Hormone levels are affected, as is basal metabolic rate.  Hopefully it's
even fun (something depressed folks really need).

The highest rates of depression tend to occur among the population least
likely to get aerobic exercise- the elderly in nursing homes- but there's
more to it than that!  The elderly are also the segment of society most
likely to be isolated, most likely to have little or nothing useful to do
in their community, te most likely to have chronic medical illnesses, etc.

Depression really should be treated in a comprehensive manner, addressing
the chemical/biological factors, "mental hygeine," lifestyle factors,
social/family factors, occupational factors, etc.  I think that Weil's
willingness to address ideas such as this in his books is his most
important contribution, not the specific remedies he offers.

BTW, for a slightly different side of Dr. Weil, read his first book _The
natural Mind_.  I found it interesting about 10 years ago.  It was perhaps
even less in the mainstream of thought than his recent best-sellers.

--
Just a box of rain, I don't know who put it there.
Believe it if you need it or leave it if you dare.

-Robert Hunter



Sat, 22 Jul 2000 03:00:00 GMT
 
 [ 13 post ] 

 Relevant Pages 

1. Present News About bipolar disorder. bipolar ii disorder,bipolar disorder stories,bipolar disorder diagnosis,i think i have bipolar disorder,bipolar disorder 2

2. St. John's Wort and SRRI's

3. St. John's Wort and SRRI's

4. St. John's Wort and SRRI's

5. Cf. NutriZAC v. St.John's Wort

6. St.John's Wort

7. Revised St. John's wort FAQ

8. Klonopin and St.John's Wort Combination

9. St John's Wort


 
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software