Dr. John 's Wort

2263 Words Nov 21st, 2014 10 Pages
Imagine standing on a roof, envisioning nothing but your limp body laying at the bottom of all those stories, blinded to everything else by the protracted agony of crippling depression. Only someone who has lived this nightmare can explain to an outsider the reason they might jump, or the reason so many die by their own hands pulling a gun trigger or tying a special knot in a rope. Lamently, for 350 million people worldwide, depression is all too-familiar (“Depression”). Even more unfortunate are the treatment options for depression: prescription drugs have troublesome side effects and can be costly, reflecting on the unconscious problems of your life in psychotherapy might prolong feelings of depression, and shock therapies are dangerous and arguably un-ethical. Fortunately, one other type of treatment exists; Hypericum perforatum, commonly known as St. John’s wort, is a flower whose active ingredients have been used to treat depression for over two hundred years (Shelton, Keller, Helenberg). Although several active biological ingredients exist in St. John’s Wort, the two that construct the majority of the herb’s properties are hypericin and hyperforin, both complex molecules known to inhibit neuronal reputake of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. The majority of prescription medications on the market to treat depression, known as selective serotonin repute inhibitors (or SSRI’s) function in the same way (Dasgupta). Beyond this, little is concrete. Contemporary…
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