St.John's Wort: The Miracle Cure for Depression

Norman E. Rosenthal, Author HarperAudio $18 (0p) ISBN 978-0-694-51958-3
The fuzzy subtitle doesn't do justice to this comprehensive and authoritative work on depression and the alleviating effects of treatment with St. John's wort. Rosenthal (Winter Blues, 1993), an expert on depression who has appeared frequently in the media, describes how the herb St. John's wort (SJW), known since ancient times and available without a prescription, ""may emerge as one of the most popular, effective and safest antidepressants."" Part I features SJW ""success stories,"" anecdotal reports of the herb's role in successfully reducing symptoms of such conditions as subsyndromal depression, PMS and anxiety disorder. Part II gets down to the nitty-gritty: how to diagnose one's depression; involve (or get rid of) a doctor in treatment; and develop ""an antidepressant lifestyle."" The history of the herb's use and reputation and its current scientific, government and economic status are considered in Part III. Rosenthal evenhandedly details what research has and has not been proven about SJW, and offers notably clear explanations of depressive disorders and pharmacology. Although he advocates appropriate use of SJW, Rosenthal repeatedly points out that those suffering severe depression should seek immediate professional help. (Aug.) FYI: HarperCollins will release an audio of this title simultaneously ($12, ISBN 0-694-51958-8).
Reviewed on: 06/01/1998
Release date: 06/01/1998
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