The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database enlists an array of compounds with natural background which could be beneficial in the management and/or treatment of depression. The description of the natural medicines and supplements includes information related to researches on the topic, recommended dosage, possible safety precautions, and any known interactions with other drugs. The information provided is suggestive of it pertaining to adults, as it does not highlight any specific instruction related to the pediatric population. Of all the products mentioned, St. John’s wort presents as the most extensively researched natural medication which could be effective for mild to moderately severe depression (Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database n.p.).
Extensive studies point out that St. John’s wart is one of the best natural antidepressants which functions like conventional drugs by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. The natural antidepressant has been found to be effective in improving mood, and reducing somatic symptoms associated with depression in patients with mild to moderately severe depression. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database recommends taking standardized products of St. John’s wart which have 0.3% hypericin; the dosage being 300 mg, thrice a day (n.p). St. John’s wart, a potent producer of cytochrome P450 3A4, has been found to interact with over 50% drugs available for retail (Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database). This makes its administration along with numerous other medications a cause of concern.
Saffron has emerged as another natural product of interest for the treatment of depression. Despite the absence of knowledge about the exact mechanism of its action, it has been investigated by the scientific fraternity. In two of their studies, Akhondzadeh et al. claim that improvement of symptoms of major depression have been evidenced in clinical trials after oral intake of a specific saffron extract for six weeks (cited in natural Medicines Comprehensive Database n.p.). The dosage of saffron as indicated by the study results is suggested to be 30 mg/day. The ConsumerLab states that there are a wide variety of commercial forms of the St. John’s wart available as supplements (n.p.). The test results of the organization indicate that 60% of these products lack the mentioned potency of the key plant compound, hypericin. A detailed report about any of such marketed products could be availed from the agency by individuals who buy their membership.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. "Natural Medicines in the Clinical management of Depression." Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.
ConsumerLab. "Product Review: St. John's Wort Supplements Review." St. John's Wort Supplements Review by ConsumerLab.com. ConsumerLab.com, n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.