ST. JOHN'S WORT
CHASTE TREE BERRY
Visit The Vitamin Shoppe for a huge selection of Name Brand herbs, vitamins, minerals, etc. at discount prices with great sales, specials, and bonus points with one low price for shipping and handling. Based in New Jersey, this is one supplier I buy my herbs, vitamins, and homeopathic remedies from.
Visit Vitacost.com another supplier with a huge selection of Name Brand herbs, vitamins, minerals, etc. at discount prices with great sales and specials also with one low price for shipping and handling. This is where I buy Nature's Way Perika St. John's Wort in tablet form.
Concerned about drug and herb interaction? Visit DrugFacts.com for 'quick and easy access to the scientific/common names, patient information, botany, history, pharmacology, and toxicology of 125 of the most popular natural products'.
Another source for fresh grown herbs, flowering perennials, dried flowers and herbalware and books is:
WELL-SWEEP HERB FARM
205 Mt. Bethel Rd.,
Port Murray, New Jersey, 07865.
Phone # (908)852-5390 and Fax # (908)852-1649. They do mail order year-round. It's a lovely little
rustic country store and these people put on good classes, too. Get their catalog - it has an informative Q&A column.
A few herbs that
I have found helpful:
An herb for
depression and anxiety
An herb for regulation
of the female hormonal cycle
An herb that promotes
I am not
nor am I
In December 1997 I started taking St. John's wort three
times a day. 'Wort' is an old English word meaning herb or plant. This
herb has been studied extensively in Europe, most notably
Germany, and has been found to be nature's remedy for
mild depression and anxiety. Within a couple of days, (as
opposed to the several weeks that many articles say it may
take to feel any noticeable effects) my mood was
improved, elevated, and my chronic anxiety was mostly
alleviated. When I take it, I feel more relaxed, little things that I
worry about aren't bothering me (as much), I sleep
better, and I don't wake up with a headache and aching jaw
from clenching my teeth all night.
This herb is reputed to reduce pain and inflammation as
in menstrual cramps, sciatica, and arthritis. It is well
known for repairing nerve damage and treating diseases of
the nervous system including neuralgia and coccygeal
pains. It is a potent antiviral and antibacterial. St.
John's wort counters herpes simplex and flu viruses and
possibly even the AIDS virus. As an oil it is applied to
inflammations, sprains, bruises, and varicose veins. It
also treats circulation problems, bronchitis, gout, and
incontinence, especially bed-wetting.
Hypericum perforatum is the latin name for St. John's
wort; the active ingredient in this herb is hypericin
(amongst other constituents). The dosage studies in
depression have used is based on a standardized extract
with a content of 0.3% hypericin at a dosage of 300mg
three times daily. Some people who
have previously been on Prozac have successfully switched
to St. John's Wort without the serious side effects.
Tablets are a compressed form with binders to hold the
shape. Capsules are a powdered form of the dried herbal
extract in gel capsules. It also comes as a
liquid extract with or without alcohol. My personal preference is either the
tablet (best taken with food as it doesn't seem to
'repeat' on me like the capsules do) or the non-alcohol
liquid extract with a glass of water as a chaser (the
taste isn't exactly pleasant). One study found extracts
more effective than tea (hypericin dissolves in alkaline
There is a product called 'Phyto Phoz Supreme' that
combines St. Johns' Wort with Kava Kava and a variety of
other plant extracts that has been used with good results
in eliminating depression and anxiety.
I'm having good results with Nature's Way
Perika St. John's Wort in tablet form from Vitacost.com. It's always on sale
and reportedly a more potent formulation. I feel better within a couple of days of taking it twice a day.
Newsweek article of
May 5, 1997 by Sue Miller called, "A Natural
"Ask the Doctor"
by naturopathic physician, Dr. Michael T. Murray
on St. John's Wort Extract - a reprinted article
published by Vital Communications Inc. Good
article in 'Q & A' format that should satisfy
even the scientific minded amongst you. This
doctor has successfully treated depression,
insomnia, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and
Fibromyalgia with St. John's wort.
I came across both of the
above articles in my local health food store -
free for the taking.
"Herbs - An Illustrated
Encyclopedia" A Complete Culinary,
Cosmetic, Medicinal, and Ornamental Guide by Kathi Keville. A nice colorful book! Large
format, very informative.
Depression" co-authored by Dr. Harold
Bloomfield, the psychiatrist and co-author of
"Making Peace With Your Parents" and
"Making Peace With Yourself". While
researching his earlier book on depression, Dr.
Bloomfield read the research on St. John's wort
and started giving it to his patients with
St. John's wort is getting
to be mainstream - you can find it in health food
stores, regular food stores, large variety
stores, catalogs, etc. I even heard a TV
commercial advertising it on a major network!
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CHASTE TREE BERRY
suffer from PMS? I
did for years. It seemed that at least half
the month or more was spent feeling lousy! Then a friend handed
me a bottle of Chaste Tree Berry extract
(a liquid form) which I
took about 1/2 a dropperful two to three times a day - and
miracles of miracles - PMS is almost a thing of the past. I also
had to cut out sugar and white flour and most overly processed foods
which helped a lot.
The Chaste Tree Berries (or Vitex agnus)
have been been shown to have a normalizing effect on the female
hormones associated with the menstrual cycle and are beneficial
for the treatment of painful menstruation,
the emotional swings of
PMS and problems related to menopause. It also benefits in
helping the body regain natural balance after the use of the
birth control pill.
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What I am
trying now is KAVA KAVA, the Polynesian herb 'discovered' by
Captain James Cook which the natives shared with him in 1768. His
notes say that a drink was prepared by people chewing the root,
spitting out the pulp, and adding coconut milk. Sounds delicious,
doesn't it? NOT! I will be taking a standardized extract in the
form of capsules, liquid extract or tea for insomnia and
nervousness. Reportedly, taken at night, it invokes a deep,
restful sleep with epic-length, clear dreams. It is also a potent
analgesic that can be taken internally or applied directly to a
painful wound. It is also antiseptic and can be used as a douche
for vaginitis or as a diuretic for treating urinary tract
infections. It also demonstrates anticonvulsant activities. All
this information has been gleaned from various articles and
books. See my suggested reading list for two very good herbal
authors. I will keep you posted on the effects of KAVA KAVA on
me. There is a product called Phyto Phoz Supreme that you can get
at health food stores which combines ST. JOHN'S WORT with KAVA
KAVA and a variety of other plant extracts. One should not overdo
the KAVA KAVA, however, since regular usage of
High Doses can
cause the accumulation of toxic substances in the liver, or brief
side effects similar to intoxication, or dry, scaly skin after
many years of many daily bowls of the Polynesian version. But no
one taking a standardized Kava supplement or an occasional cup of
tea has ever suffered skin problems according to the sources I
Update: GOOD NEWS!! This one works - it is calming, relaxing and taken as
a tea works to help me gently fall asleep within 10-15 minutes.
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