Herbs Similar to St. John’s Wort
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Name not given
Posted on: October 27, 1998

Is there another herb that is along the same line as St. John’s Wort that is also comparable to the anti-depressant, Paxil? I am taking Paxil now for anxiety and I would like to go off of it, but I would like something natural that has some of the same results as Paxil.

Paxil is a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI), influencing mood and behaviour by making more serotonin available in the blood, achieved by preventing it’s "reuptake" by cells. Detailed scientific studies of how herbs achieve their effects are not usually available. St. John’s Wort is thought to be an MAOI (Monoamine oxidase inhibitor) type of antidepressant. Many studies have shown that it is as effective as some antidepressant medications. A British study of 1757 mild to moderately depressed patients has shown St. John’s Wort to be as effective as SSRIs.

Other antidepressant herbs that you can look into are: Oats (a stimulating nervine that nourishes nerve tissue), Borage (supports the adrenal glands which may be exhausted by stress), Skullcap (nourishes nerve tissue), Evening Primrose Oil (provides essential fatty acids necessary to nerve tissue). Oats, Valerian and German Chamomile are herbs used specifically for anxiety.

In coming off Paxil, you will need your doctors advice and support in slowly decreasing the dosage.

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