It’s 2019 and there are still no recent studies showing anything conclusive with regards to the efficacy of St John’s wort on treating severe depression.
(If you wish to retrace my steps in the research please do so by all means and follow the links below.)
Many studies however have shown efficacy for assisting with mild to moderate depression which is a more common experience in the main population and to whom this article is directed.
“We all suffer the blues now and then” like the song says and here’s a plant that could help and has helped thousands throughout the ages from neolithic times to now.
Be it winter blues, hormonal blues, illness blues, christmas blues, whatever blues your song is about, this root extract may offer some comfort.
I say why not!
Tinctures and capsules are sold on the market now. Best to go to your local natural health store and get advice there.
Why not consult with a natural herb specialist, naturopath, phytotherapist, etc and have the accompaniment, the support, the knowledge that they can offer you.
Self-care means caring enough for oneself to get assistance from other humans whose job it is to assist. They do it all day, they’ve studied, it’s their bread and butter and I say use them. Just don’t lump all the responsibility on the professional you choose, do your own research, create your own path of well-being.
How and when to use St John’s Wort
Use it as an intensive ‘cure’ or regimen for a few weeks along with other self-care strategies such as a diet change, some exercise, some meditation or mindfulness, a good friend to chat with, a visit to your counsellor, massage therapist, manicurist, whoever brings you joy but especially go out to NATURE.
Visit a forest today!
Cautionary note: if you are severely depressed and on medication, please abstain from listening to any wisdom given here apart from talk to a professional now.
When dealing with hot flashes and hormonal shifts, try a yoga-for-menopause pose to relieve symptoms.
Practice this Asana/pose for a 7 day self challenge and practice mindfully or intentionally for 5 to 10 minutes daily. Your body will start craving it and it will become habitual.
On days when Menopausal symptoms are intense your body will remind you to practice Yoga to assist in alleviating them.
The poses will become an integral part of your self-care routine.
Healing Meditation for Menopause:
# During the Asana practice Close eyes and Meditate focusing your intent, your relaxation, your breathing your healing energy to the pelvic region.
# Imagine a bright white light filling your pelvic region and then filling your entire body.
# Use positive compassionate thoughts about your pelvis and your entire body for example:
“My pelvic region, my whole body and my hormones are in perfect harmony”
“My body, my mind and my soul are in perfect harmony”
“My body is strong and flexible during change”
“I accept change. My body accepts change. My mind accepts change”
Add your own mantras, thoughts, prayers during your practice.
Bridge Pose can be whatever you need—energizing, rejuvenating, or luxuriously restorative.
(SET-too BAHN-dah) setu = dam, dike, or bridge bandha = lock
Stretches the chest, neck, and spine
Calms the brain and helps alleviate stress and mild depression
Stimulates abdominal organs, lungs, and thyroid
Rejuvenates tired legs
Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
Relieves menstrual discomfort when done supported
Reduces anxiety, fatigue, backache, headache, and insomnia
Therapeutic for asthma, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and sinusitis
Bridge Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions
Lie supine on the floor, and if necessary, place a thickly folded blanket under your shoulders to protect your neck. Bend your knees and set your feet on the floor, heels as close to the sitting bones as possible.
Exhale and, pressing your inner feet and arms actively into the floor, push your tailbone upward toward the pubis, firming (but not hardening) the buttocks, and lift the buttocks off the floor. Keep your thighs and inner feet parallel. Clasp the hands below your pelvis and extend through the arms to help you stay on the tops of your shoulders.
Lift your buttocks until the thighs are about parallel to the floor. Keep your knees directly over the heels, but push them forward, away from the hips, and lengthen the tailbone toward the backs of the knees. Lift the pubis toward the navel.
Lift your chin slightly away from the sternum and, firming the shoulder blades against your back, press the top of the sternum toward the chin. Firm the outer arms, broaden the shoulder blades, and try to lift the space between them at the base of the neck (where it’s resting on the blanket) up into the torso.
You can go up and down slowly using the breath in the beginning to warm up the spine and legs.
Breathe in UP
Breathe out DOWN
After a few raises or when you are ready then Stay in the pose anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Release with an exhalation, rolling the spine slowly down onto the floor.
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Contraindications and Cautions
Neck injury: avoid this pose unless you are practicing under the supervision of an experienced teacher.
Modifications and Props
If you have difficulty supporting the lift of the pelvis in this pose after taking it away from the floor, slide a block or bolster under your sacrum and rest the pelvis on this support.
Deepen the Pose
Once in the pose, lift your heels off the floor and push your tailbone up, a little closer to the pubis. Then from the lift of the tail, stretch the heels back to the floor again.