“When going thru hell, keep going.” Winston Churchill
Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses and can affect anyone at any age. Characterized by anhedonia (the inability to feel pleasure), despair, and pessimism, depression has high morbidity and recurrence. Overall, more than 50% of the general population in middle- and high-income countries will suffer from at least one mental disorder at some point in their lives. This is obviously a major public health problem with significant consequences for society. We need clear guidelines as to what does and doesn’t work for treating depression.
Continue reading “Antidepressants May Be No More Effective Than Placebo: But What About St. John’s Wort and Other Herbal Medicines?”
brains have the remarkable capacity to adapt and change throughout our lives. This
ability to form and reorganize neural pathways in response to learning, experience,
injury, disease, or aging is called neuroplasticity.
can be great, because everybody can serve. You only need a heart full of grace,
a soul generated by love.”
~ Dr. Martin Luther King
helps the brain process sensory input along with creating suitable adaptive
responses to stimuli. Neurons must have purpose to survive, and those with weak or
ineffective connections are pruned. Through a variety of structural and molecular
mechanisms, neurons compensate for injury or disease.
Continue reading “Neuroplasticity, Brain Health, Mood and ‘Smarty Plants’”
With the warm days of summer approaching, I begin to look for the sunny beauty of the humble little flowering plant, St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum). Called St. John’s wort because it blooms around the feast day of John the Baptist (June 24th), the plant grows prolifically in southern Oregon, particularly along roadsides and in meadows. The bright yellow five-petaled flower resembles a halo; when pressed, the flowers release a crimson liquid that symbolized to early Christians the spilled blood of their beloved St. John.
Continue reading “St. John’s Wort: An Ally Against Cancer”