Bastyr U, of course, in its master plan wants to have control over all of "natural" health care. It current approach is about as far away from the life and work of Dr. John as one can get, but then the public fails to know the history of real naturopathy as opposed to"the new definition of "naturopathic medicine".
Since Carla Johnson fails to identify in her article exactly what type of St. John's Wort capsules were utilized in this study, it leads to a lot of speculation.
The speculation may include whether or not Wendy Weber specified a "standardized" form of St. John's Wort or used a whole herb blend or complete concentrate.
Another question I would ask is why was this particular herb chosen.
Considering that Bastyr U beleives itself to be the penultimate source of herbal information, Weber might have considered the fact that SJW is a sedative-nervine herb and anti-viral that is generally considered - as a result of a large amount of research - used primarily for things besides the manufactured diagnosis of ADHD.
Certainly, based on research and herbal knowledge, a much better choice for the disease that was designed for the Ritalin like drugs, Passionflower would have been my choice. I would have chosen liquid herbal extract above capsuled dried herbs too.
And I would have considered that sometimes a blend of several appropriate herbs might be used, mainly primary herbs combined with secondary choices such as SJW.
This might also be a way to spin the best function of herbs off and away from the basic rules of choosing drugs in therapy - The right drug, for the right person, at the right time on the right form and for the right use.
Perhaps Carla doesn't know this rule, and perhaps Bastyr students haven't heard of it either.
So if you are looking for non-drug approaches to ADD or ADHD, contact us for more information and more appropriate choices.
St. John's wort fails to help kids with ADHD
By CARLA K. JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer
Tue Jun 10, 2008
Children and teens with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder fared no better on St. John's wort than they did on dummy pills in a government study, another blow for herbal supplements.
St. John's wort, pine bark extract and blue-green algae are among commonly used herbal treatments for children with ADHD. They appeal to parents who want to avoid stimulants like Ritalin and other drugs used to help children control their behavior.
But unlike prescription drugs, supplements are only loosely regulated by the government and their makers don't have to prove they are safe or effective.
"Do an Internet search and you'll find a wide variety of herbal products marketed for ADHD," said lead author Wendy Weber of Bastyr University's School of Naturopathic Medicine in suburban Seattle. "I've found there is very little research on the majority of products out there."
Weber, working with colleagues at Harvard University and University of Washington, focused on St. John's wort because studies in rats found it increases brain chemicals like norepinephrine, which is thought to help focus attention.
Weber reasoned St. John's wort might work the same way as the prescription drug Strattera, approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat ADHD. Strattera makes norepinephrine more available in the brain.
In the study, appearing in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association, 54 children with ADHD were randomly assigned to take either St. John's wort capsules three times a day or placebos. They ranged in age from 6 to 17 years old.
Symptoms were measured at the start of the study and four other times. After eight weeks, the two groups showed no difference in symptoms or side effects.
Adriana Arjona, a 15-year-old diagnosed with ADHD several years earlier, took part in the study in the Seattle area. She has never taken standard prescription medication for the condition because her mother, Aracelly Salazar, believes the potential side effects of nervousness, agitation and insomnia are worse than her daughter's symptoms.
St. John's wort didn't seem to have much effect, both mother and daughter agreed. The teenager learned after the study ended that she had taken the supplement, not the dummy pill.
The study's results should give pause to parents who have avoided well researched prescription medicines in favor of herbal remedies, said Dr. Eugenia Chan of Children's Hospital Boston, who was not involved in the new research.
Earlier this year, the American Heart Association recommended that children should be screened for heart problems before getting drugs like Ritalin. That increased parents' anxieties about the drugs, Chan said.
But "natural" doesn't mean risk-free. St. John's wort can increase sensitivity to the sun and reduces the effectiveness of some medications, including birth control pills.
ADHD affects more than 4.4 million children, according to government estimates.
Chan, who has studied the use of alternative medicines in ADHD, found that more than half of parents of ADHD children had tried alternative treatments and special diets, but only 11 percent had told their children's doctors about those strategies. She wrote an accompanying editorial in the journal.
The research follows other studies with disappointing results for alternative remedies such as echinacea for the common cold, saw palmetto for prostate problems and glucosamine and chondroitin for arthritis pain.
It was funded by a grant from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health.
On the Net:
National Resource Center on ADHD: http://www.help4adhd.org
Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press.
Later this morning a second mesaage quoted another report on this issue. This ones refers to a standardised dried herb capsule made from a single component of SJW.
Weber and co-workers recruited 54 children with ADHD aged between six and 17, and randomly assigned them to receive a daily supplement of 300 mg of H. perforatum standardised to 0.3 per cent hypericin (Vital Nutrients Inc, Connecticut) or placebo for eight weeks. The participants were not allowed to take other ADHD medications during the trial.
"The product used for this study was not one of the newly marketed "high-hyperforin" products that range from three to five per cent hyperforin," wrote Weber. "The product used in this trial was tested for hypericin and hyperforin content at the end of the trialandcontained only 0.13 per cent hypericin and 0.14 per cent hyperforin."
This is a study of very short duration and a limited number of participants, things that often skew negatively the outcome of the study.
In addition, see
and from one of my articles -
"Dr. Hyla Cass, a psychiatrist who works with natural treatments for mood disorders, recommends St. John's wort to promote restful sleep and enhance dreaming.
A study in 1993 shows that St. John's wort improved the condition of those who regularly experience winter depression. The extract has been thoroughly researched as a natural anti-depressant. A total of 1,592 patients have been studied in 25 double-blind controlled studies. The studies show St. John's wort reduces anxiety, depression and sleep disturbances, without side effects. Use organic, whole herb extracts for the best results."
also from another of my articles, "...at a talk presented by world class scientists, ...demonstrated to me that standardization for hypericin content alone is at least misguided. ...even after .. plucking the plant apart into all its varied constituents, it is the whole herb that does the work, and this still holds true." Richo Cech, Horizon Herbs