Using St. John’s Wort to treat dysthymia

6 March, 2009

I’ve recently had disturbed sleep, probably due to anxiety and mild depression due to my current situation. I’ve also come to the realisation that I have dysthymia (I guess I was aware before, but didn’t know the psychological term).

So I’m starting to self-treat with St. John’s Wort (SJW), active chemical hypericum. Now, there’s only one study on SJW for dysthymia that I know of – it’s the one that always gets cited, from the journal Phytomedicine. This study confirmed that SJW is effective for mild depression (it’s also effective for major depression), but said it was ineffective for dysthymia. However, the study was limited: first, total group was 150 patients, which is a small sample. Second, the study only went to 6 weeks (psych meds can take longer to become effective). Third, dose was typical for these studies, with a maximum of 1200g/day (SJW extract – abstracts don’t say what strength of hypericum in the extract).

What is the difference between minor and major depression, and dysthymia? Depression is generally defined as an episode lasting up to 18 months, whereas dysthymia is a chronic condition. But dysthymia is depression, chronic depression – it’s a difference of duration, not of kind. Therefore, although SJW may not match the latest medications in period of efficacy, it may be effective if taken over a long period.

Therefore, I propose to take SJW for at least 2 months, and in “therapeutic” doses – Cenovis St. John’s Wort tablet formulation, 2g extract (dried flowering head) equivalent 1mg hypericum, x 5 per day. My only real issue is: should I be taking more?

I guess we’ll see what happens!

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3 Responses to “Using St. John’s Wort to treat dysthymia”

  1. rjp123rjp123 Says:

    What is your current situation that leads you to depression ?

  2. eyeresist Says:

    If I wanted to say, I would have already done so.


  3. Did the wort worked for dysthymia ??


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