Can St. John’s Wort and Prescription Drugs for Depression Be Taken At the Same Time?


There are over 27 million people in the US taking prescription drugs for depression, anxiety, and other health issues.

  • Over 50% of these drugs are not used to treat depression but other health problems such as back pain, nerve pain, sleep disorders, and fatigue.
  • Only 20% of these patients are getting psychotherapy along with the medication.
  • Eighty percent of patients are not being treated by a psychiatrist but a physician with less-than-adequate training and experience in mental health problems.
  • In many cases a patient has not been screened adequately for the prescription they are taking. This means that many patients are taking medicine that is incorrect for their type of depression or mental health illness.
  • This trend is dangerous to your health and your life.   Americans are over-medicated and that is fact supported by statistics.

Most of the recent mass killings resulted from people who were either taking prescription drugs at the time or had taken them earlier. In most of these cases they got drugs, not therapy or the correct therapy. These people are not evil but broken. In some cases they might not have killed if they had gotten proper treatment. How many of these killers might have been helped with proper treatment and intervention before they snapped? We will never know, will we?

Depression medications including Prozac, Zoloft Paxil, Celexa, and Lexapro often cause dangerous side effects and personality changes. These drugs can cause the patients symptoms to become worse instead of better. These prescription drugs are often  the tool that drives them off the edge and not making them better. These drugs that are given to children and young people have not been tested on children. These drugs were only tested on adults, not children, and with very limited drug trials. Often these research papers  filled with fraudulent  results  to cover up the real study results. These nasty side effects are the main reason patients stop the medications.

Patients want an alternative to prescription drugs that is safer without side effects.
They look to herbs and alternative medicine for answers.

There are herbs and alternative therapies that can help with depression and anxiety but there are rules and precautions you must follow:

#1: If you are taking depression and anxiety medications Do Not go off these drugs cold turkey.
You need to go off prescription gradually under supervision of a holistic physician.
If you don’t withdraw from the drug gradually, you could suffer from serious and dangerous withdrawal side effects including: worsening depression, sleeplessness; nausea; vomiting; agitation; jitters; sweating; pain; headaches, stomach pain and more. You need supervision by a holistic physician to go off these medications.

#2: Do not take herbs like St. John’s Wort and Kava kava at the same time as prescription depression drugs. There are few studies published that show the effects of taking herbs and drugs together. In some cases herbs may make the effects of the drug more potent so an over-dose of the drug is possible. Herbs can also diminish the effects of certain drugs in some cases. So you could see your depression get worse. So don’t take them at the same time. Wait until the drug is out of your system. It may take a few days or a few weeks in some cases for your body to clear itself  of the drug’s effects. It is different with each person and each drug. Find a holistic doctor to supervise your path. He can help to make sure you are taking the right dosage of the herb or herbal formula. He can give you recommend other therapies that may help your depression. There are nutritional deficiencies that can cause mental health symptoms. Your thyroid function needs to be evaluated for possible problems. Medication side effects can cause memory problems and early dementia symptoms. All these factors should be investigated.

Holistic doctors interpet health factors differently than standard medicine doctors. These factors include nutrition and metabolic disturbances that may not show up on lab tests. Your body becomes imbalanced long before it reaches a disease state that registers on a lab test. They actually study your patient history form that you fill out. Holistic doctors look at your eyes, your skin quality, your facial features, your health history, your family’s health history, your diet, your exercise level, your stress level and how you answer their questions. That doctor is looking for clues in your health condition that other doctors have missed. They pay attention to your answers and your comments.

Herbs for depression include St. John’s Wort and Kava Kava. Investigate Orthomolecular medicine which uses nutrition and amino acids to correct brain imbalances. Brain imbalances are factors in depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems. Nutritional deficiencies and endocrine imbalances also cause mental health symptoms. I have listed references at the bottom of this blog to help you research Orthomolecular medicine for mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. This is one area that is suppressed by standard medicine. Most people have never heard of Orthomolecular Medicine and that is so tragic. So many patients could be helped with this therapy that is both safe and effective. Drugs should be the last option tried, not the first.

References for Further Research:


Kate Freer
Master Herbalist and researcher since 1983. My husband and I live in Spring Valley, CA. We grow herbs, Moringa trees, and organic vegetables along with a flock of ducks and lop rabbits. I love writing and sharing knowledge about herbs and alternative medicine with my readers. I write for my business blog, Yahoo Voices, and now this new blog here. I look forward to this new writing opportunity.