The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    St. John’s wort to treat IBS?

    Here’s the rationale supporting this study by researchers at the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota.

    St. John’s wort treats mild-to-moderate depression. Antidepressants are often used to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). But no one has studied the effects of St. John’s wort in patients with IBS.

    First, the details.

    • 70 patients with IBS were randomly assigned to take either St. John’s wort or placebo.
      • Assignment of treatment was balanced according to symptom subtype: constipation predominant IBS, diarrhea predominant IBS, or mixed IBS.
    • The primary end point was self-reported overall bowel symptom score at 12 weeks.
    • The patients and researchers were not aware of the treatment given — double blind.

    And, the results.

    • Both groups reported decreases in overall self-reported bowel symptoms scores, with the placebo group having significantly lower scores at 12 weeks vs St. John’s wort.
    • The placebo group also did better than the St. John’s wort-treated patients at week 12 for diarrhea and “adequate relief.”
    • Both groups believed that the drug they received decreased IBS life interferences.

    The bottom line?

    St. John’s wort is less effective than placebo for treating IBS.

    1/10/10 20:57 JR

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