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    St John's Wort and Ginkgo Biloba 
    #1
    Greenlighter Vova's Avatar
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    I was recently diagnosed with depression and given a prescription for Prozac which I didn't fill. I'm afraid of taking SSRIs because of the side effects. I believe that my depression is quite mild because while I have a hard time going through my daily routine and interacting with people, I'm generally an upbeat person.

    I also have problems with cognition. More specifically I'm pretty slow when it comes to forming clear thoughts. This is somewhat noticeable when I'm having conversations with people.

    Anyway, I've been doing some research online, and I would like to try st john's wort and ginko biloba. Has anyone here taken the two in combination?
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    #2
    Bluelighter expothead's Avatar
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    don't let anyone discourage you with talk of placebo. Frankly, this placebo effect has turned my life around in the past few months.

    A friend put me on to fish oil about 4 months ago and the difference was almost immediate. I felt like it lubricated my brain. I took 3-4 a day initially but now usually in the morning and evening.

    Don't know how, but someone gave us some GingkoForte tablets which are Gingko Biloba Extract. Started taking twice a day and, to be honest, haven't noticed much effect. Maybe a little sharper, but there's probably other reasons for that. Still I like to pretend it does something.

    Now the one that blows me away is the St Johns Wort (2000mg), which I only started taking about two weeks ago - one a day at lunch. Instant placebo effect that afternoon. And the funny thing is I couldn't really say what's changed, but you'll know it when you see it. I feel like the day after taking ecstasy, when you've still got that afterglow happening. And to top it off, if I vaporise a little pot I get instant euphoria & positive mood (a natural anti-depressant) - and I suddenly have a great affection for my wife and kids. It's like really mild MDMA.

    one side-effect of the st johns wort, however, seems to be a loss of libido.

    Meh - but thats just me. Humour me - give it a try, you have little to lose.
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    #3
    i say give SJW a try before Prozac. Actual clinical trials have suggested it works just as good as prozac for mild depression (which it sounds like you have.) If you were seriously depressed i would suggest an ssri, but i think they are far too overprescribed for minor depression. I dont know about that "6 monthes to kick in" thing, ive never heard this before.

    ^also, the sexual side effects from prozac are pretty strong, it wouldnt be surprising if SJW has the same type of side effect (though probably not as strong.)
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    #4
    5-htp is a great for treating mild depression. I take it everyday and notice a difference for sure.
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    #5
    Bluelighter expothead's Avatar
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    5HTP makes me feel spaced out. Especially if I get stoned. SJW, seems a far more natural feeling.
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    #6
    I've dealt with mild - moderate depression for quite sometime and only in the last few weeks begun taking 900mg of Saint John's Wort daily. I can definitely tell it is helping. Whether or not it is the placebo effect, I couldn't say. In Germany it is by prescription only and is prescribed far more often than SSRI's.
    If you go on google and type in SJW forum there is a great forum dedicated to people using Saint John's Wort for depression. You can check out brands that have worked well for people, dosages, dosing times, etc. It seems the brand and quality play a big factor in its overall effectiveness. All I can say is it is definitely worth a try depression even when mild is terrible. Also as a side note my experience has been a large lift in libido and sexual function. Hope you find something that works.
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    #7
    Bluelighter expothead's Avatar
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    just a word of caution. I experienced a severe crash last week that felt a lot like the depression i sometimes used to get from ecstasy use. It could of course be unrelated to SJW (as I always seem to get depressed around the time of my birthday), but it troubled me so much i've stopped taking SJW for the time being (and cut right back on cannabis use).
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    #8
    Bluelighter Clean_Cut's Avatar
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    I use ginko Biloba. I have used it for about 3-4 months i think, over that time it has kept me sharp...but nothing too dramatic...but I guess its gotta be doing something up there...id rather take it than not take it
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    #9
    Bluelighter Northside's Avatar
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    I've learned that SJW is an SSRI itself and have experienced mild symptoms of serotonin syndrome (sweating) when on it. I stopped taking it because the sweating was intolerable but I think it did lift my depression and lessen my anxiety.
    It's worth a try but if you're concerned about SSRIs you should know the wort is a mild one.

    Edit: It's not been said that it is an actual ssri but that it works like one and should not be taken with one. Sorry I don't have a source to quote but I'm sure google will back me up.
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Vova View Post
    I was recently diagnosed with depression and given a prescription for Prozac which I didn't fill. I'm afraid of taking SSRIs because of the side effects. I believe that my depression is quite mild because while I have a hard time going through my daily routine and interacting with people, I'm generally an upbeat person.

    I also have problems with cognition. More specifically I'm pretty slow when it comes to forming clear thoughts. This is somewhat noticeable when I'm having conversations with people.

    Anyway, I've been doing some research online, and I would like to try st john's wort and ginko biloba. Has anyone here taken the two in combination?
    I do take Ginkgo and St. Johns Wort. I have for several years. I take the St. Johns to keep me from getting manic. My choice was that or Zoloft, an ssri, They are both doing the same thing so you would be taking too much ssri if you took it with the prozac. I have never taken that particular drug. For safety sake I would ask the doctor for lithium to see if it worked. St Johns Wort has no noticeable side effects except for some herb smell at first. You do still notice it slowing you down though.
    Commercial ssri's are not healthy. You should remember that St. Johns should be considered a drug and Ginkgo a nutrient. I got a big surprise when I added two 00 caps of sage to my other nutrients and Ginkgo. Suddenly my mind was working far better than it had in years.
    Good luck with your problem. There are many nutrients that you need for your condition. Don't leave any out. You will be amazed at the good they will do for you.
    Last edited by walterallenhaxton; 23-11-2009 at 01:53. Reason: Mistakes. I also wanted to add the time I was taking the substance for.
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    #11
    Bluelighter DopaMan's Avatar
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    St. John's Wort (SJW)

    Mechanism of action = it might inhibit reuptake of seratonin, dopamine, and
    NE (mostly serotonin reuptake inhibition like an SSRI).

    Hyperforin, adhyperforin are known to be active, and therefore SJW is the mainstay treatment for depression in Germany (where they practice a somewhat effective blend of Eastern as well as Western medicine).

    Hypericin is the "active" constintuant used in the US.

    REMEMBER THAT SJW CAN RENDER BIRTH CONTROL INEFFECTIVE SO PLEASE TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE STARTING IT!!!!!! (lol if you are female)
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    #12
    You didn't mention your age or otherwise state of health. St John's Wort can interfere with the effect of statins eg, Lipitor. Also, Gingko acts as a mild vaso dilator and anti-coagulent. It has been associated with cerebral bleeding. If these hazards don't apply to you, then I wouln't worry about it.
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    #13
    i was wondering the same thing about these two together. is mixing them harmful for you at all? i like the effects of ginkgo on my daily performance, but i quit taking the st. john's wort that i had been taking on and off for a year or two b/c of the strange feeling it gave me.

    i mean, i like to smoke pot first and foremost, but the feeling that this combo gave me was one i didn't want on a daily basis. i just don't know if it's healthy to mix the two. if all else fails, i'll just stick to the ginkgo and drop the SJW. i'm not manic or depressed all the time, but it did help me when i needed it.

    anyone that knows what the hell they are talking about have any info? thanks.
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    #14
    Bluelighter OC4ME's Avatar
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    I have been taking SJW, Ginkgo and Fish Oil supplements regularly for about a month now. I have tried all kinds of SSRI's and a few MAOI's, but have always stopped as they made me feel spaced out, couldn't orgasm, caused insomnia and had awful withdrawals. They made me feel like an X comedown. The combination of supplements I have been taking has made me feel better than I have felt in a very long time and I now am a huge supporter.
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    #15
    I took sjw about 6 or 7 years ago. It was for depression after I quit using cocaine. It worked somewhat, but I had to quit it after a little over 2 months due to it causing painful chest pain.
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    #16
    Bluelighter Mr Blonde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walterallenhaxton View Post
    I do take Ginkgo and St. Johns Wort. I have for several years. I take the St. Johns to keep me from getting manic. My choice was that or Zoloft, an ssri, They are both doing the same thing so you would be taking too much ssri if you took it with the prozac. I have never taken that particular drug. For safety sake I would ask the doctor for lithium to see if it worked. St Johns Wort has no noticeable side effects except for some herb smell at first. You do still notice it slowing you down though.
    Commercial ssri's are not healthy. You should remember that St. Johns should be considered a drug and Ginkgo a nutrient. I got a big surprise when I added two 00 caps of sage to my other nutrients and Ginkgo. Suddenly my mind was working far better than it had in years.
    Good luck with your problem. There are many nutrients that you need for your condition. Don't leave any out. You will be amazed at the good they will do for you.
    You were meant to use an SSRI to prevent mania? That doesn't make sense, SSRIs are known to cause mania and I would be concerned that St John's Wort might have a similar effect, given it's theoretical mechanism of action.
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by DopaMan View Post
    St. John's Wort (SJW)

    Mechanism of action = it might inhibit reuptake of seratonin, dopamine, and
    NE (mostly serotonin reuptake inhibition like an SSRI).

    Hyperforin, adhyperforin are known to be active, and therefore SJW is the mainstay treatment for depression in Germany (where they practice a somewhat effective blend of Eastern as well as Western medicine).

    Hypericin is the "active" constintuant used in the US.

    REMEMBER THAT SJW CAN RENDER BIRTH CONTROL INEFFECTIVE SO PLEASE TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE STARTING IT!!!!!! (lol if you are female)
    Progesterone only methods should not be affected. Mini-pills, implants and Depo shot are progesterone only methods.
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    #18
    Bluelighter Merkinsey's Avatar
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    I used to love smelling St. John's Wart tabs out of the bottle. I know, weird, but it strangely made me feel awesome and opened up my lung it felt like but all the script I'm taking now, I can't go near that stuff.
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    #19
    St johns wort made me feel very physically lazy , tired and drained of energy . In no way however did it make me feel zombie like mentally like some ssris
    This was after taking it for a few weeks .

    I've decided to give the stuff another try a year later .
    I'vee heard many sucess stories and I wanted to be one of them haha .

    Gingko I've tried to . I used to take it on a daily basis for months .
    I didn't notice any effects really except for that if I took it before bed I'd have the wildest dreams .
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    #20
    Bluelighter Merkinsey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesmartin View Post
    Gingko I've tried to . I used to take it on a daily basis for months .
    I didn't notice any effects really except for that if I took it before bed I'd have the wildest dreams .
    I tried Gingko for a few years too and did not notice anything, really, except the placebo effect of I might be a wee bit smarter? But I really couldn't prove that I was, so I gave that up. Perhaps I shoulda kept up taking it for the possible benefit much later
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