Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "
St. John's wort outperforms SSRIs in treating depression
In case of not too serious depression, supplementation with St. John's wort does not work as well as the SSRIs that most regular psychiatrists are so fond of. According to a recent Chinese meta-study, St. John's wort works better.
In a number of trials, the researchers compared the effect of St. John's wort with that of a placebo. In other trials, the researchers compared St. John's wort with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors [SSRIs] such as fluoxetine, paroxetine and sertraline.
In the table below - click on it for a larger version - you will find more details about the dosage used and the duration of supplementation. In the typical trial, the subjects received 900 milligrams of extract per day for two months.
Click on the figures below for a larger version.
The magnitude of the difference in effect in both figures is approximately the same. Based on the trials used, you may wonder whether SSRIs had any effect on depression that was not already severe.
"However, due to their strong side effects, they are not recommended. Instead, the use of St. John's wort is preferred as it is a cheap, readily available and effective treatment strategy for mild to moderate depression, with mild side effects. Thus, based on the current meta-analysis and statistically significant results (p smaller than 0.05), the use of St. John's wort for depression in adults is strongly recommended."