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Author Topic: St John's Wort  (Read 12967 times)

Offline Ian33

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St John's Wort
« on: 30/11/2005 16:26:56 »
Beware this herb, it doesn't suit everybody. Research has suggested it is useful in treating mild forms of depression. I was taking it to help with the Winter blues.

However, after a week, I developed an extremely painful rash which extended from below my arms to my torso. It was agonisingly painful.
Having got to the Doctors, he confirmed that he didn't think it was shingles, and then he asked if I was taking any other medicines. I mentioned the ST Johns Wort, which interested him greatly. After consulting one of his books, he pronounced my rash as a severe inflammtion of nerve endings, caused by ST John' Wort.

After a week of ceasing to take the herb, and treatmeant with a cortisone cream, the rash diminished and after two weeks had gone.

Be careful with herbs, some of them are potent poisons.


I now take extra Vit D in winter, without any adverse effects.

Ian

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Offline chris

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Re: St John's Wort
« Reply #1 on: 02/12/2005 12:43:11 »
A point well made Ian.

Many people mistakenly believe that because something has a herbal origin that it is in some way superior to, or safer than a pharmaceutical product.

But the fact is that up to 30% of the top ten drugs prescribed in hospitals owe their origins to nature. Aspirin is one example (it's based on the natural anti-inflammatory salicylic acid, from Willows), digitalis (from foxgloves) is another, galantamine, used for the treatment of dementia, comes from daffodils, and colchicine, which can be used to treata gout comes from the autumn crocus. Atropine comes from deadly nightshade, and morphine comes from poppies. These agents are all capable of killing you or at least causing severe reactions at the wrong dose.

The difference between a herbal remedy and a pill prescribed by a doctor is that a pill from the doctor has to pass through very rigorous safety trials before it is unleashed on the public, and even after that it continues to be closely monitored for side effects. Should anything severe become apparent the agent is usually withdrawn, or its use is restricted.

There are no such safeguards on herbal remedies. These agents do not have to satisfy the same rigorous safety tests. They are often available without a prescription and can interfere with other medications including blood-thinning agents, anti-epileptic drugs and oral contraceptives. They must be approached with caution.

Chris

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Offline Ian33

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Re: St John's Wort
« Reply #2 on: 02/12/2005 14:38:29 »
Thanks Chris,

I might add that I cannot take Aspirin as it attacks my stomach lining and I always end up in pain. So I stopped taking it years ago. Paracetomol is much better tolerated in the stomach.

Ian

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another_someone

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Re: St John's Wort
« Reply #3 on: 06/12/2005 20:18:23 »
quote:
Originally posted by chris

A point well made Ian.

Many people mistakenly believe that because something has a herbal origin that it is in some way superior to, or safer than a pharmaceutical product.




As a general rule, medicines (herbal, or  pharmaceutical, or even vitamins) come in two varieties, those that have no beneficial effect whatsoever, and those that are dangerous.  If it is capable of curing you, then it is also capable of killing you.

I too have tried St. Johns Wart very effective at creating insomnia (at least that was the effect it had for me).  Maybe I needed more of a depressant than an antidepressant?

quote:

The difference between a herbal remedy and a pill prescribed by a doctor is that a pill from the doctor has to pass through very rigorous safety trials before it is unleashed on the public, and even after that it continues to be closely monitored for side effects. Should anything severe become apparent the agent is usually withdrawn, or its use is restricted.

There are no such safeguards on herbal remedies. These agents do not have to satisfy the same rigorous safety tests. They are often available without a prescription and can interfere with other medications including blood-thinning agents, anti-epileptic drugs and oral contraceptives. They must be approached with caution.



While I agree about the note for caution, I would not be in favour of overregulation of this sector.  If this sector were regulated to the same extent as  pharmaceuticals, the lack of patent monopoly on these products would mean that no-one would bother paying up the money to overcome the regulatory hurdles, and so the products would simply leave the market.

One simply has to accept caveat emptor.
 

Offline Ian33

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Re: St John's Wort
« Reply #4 on: 10/12/2005 23:28:07 »
I agree, there's enough regulation as it is. But some herbs, plant products should carry warnings. I tried Gingsing once for stress, but it just made it worse, plus it gave me terrible insomnia. I won't use it again.

Ian

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Offline Karen W.

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St John's Wort
« Reply #5 on: 09/07/2007 06:55:22 »
I know this is old but are there any other useful uses for St Johns wort as I have a ton of it growing in me flower beds and it is rather evasive! Are there any cosmetic uses for it that would be non digestible ?
 

Offline rosalind dna

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St John's Wort
« Reply #6 on: 27/05/2008 20:54:24 »
Also anyone, who takes Anti-epilepsy Medicines such as myself darent touch St John's Wort or it'll trigger seizures.
 

lyner

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St John's Wort
« Reply #7 on: 11/06/2008 08:57:54 »
It can make you go pink in the Sun, too! I couldn't believe how much difference it made to my sensitivity to sunlight.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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St John's Wort
« Reply #8 on: 11/06/2008 19:52:57 »
It also is asscoiateed with a risk of failure of the contraceptive pill.
It's a prety plant though. Cut bits off it and put them in the house in vases to make the place look nice.
 

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St John's Wort
« Reply #8 on: 11/06/2008 19:52:57 »

 

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