The popular herbal extract St. John’s wort is more effective at treating the symptoms of depression than any antidepressant drug, and has fewer side effects, researchers from the Centre for Complementary Medicine in Munich have concluded.
“Overall, the St John’s Wort extracts tested in the trials were superior to placebo, similarly effective as standard anti-depressants, and had fewer side effects than standard anti-depressants,” lead researcher Klaus Linde said.
In a study published by the Cochrane Library, the researchers compiled the results of 29 prior trials, involving a total of 5,489 participants who were randomly assigned either St. John’s wort, a placebo, tricylclic antidepressants or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to treat mild to moderately severe depression. All studies were double-blind, meaning that neither patients nor researchers knew what kind of treatment each participant was receiving.
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