Flawed St. John's Wort Study on ADHD Failed to Use Active Form
of Herbal Extract
(NaturalNews) On the heels of shocking revelations that top psychiatric research
Dr. Joseph Biederman secretly took $1.6 million from drug companies while
conducting psychotropic drug experiments on children, it has been learned that
Dr. Biederman is now one of the key collaborators behind the latest efforts to
discredit St. John's Wort. In a study published in the Journal of the
American Medical Association and widely reported in the mainstream media,
Dr. Biederman and fellow cohorts "concluded" that the
St. John's Wort herb
is useless in treating ADHD in children.
What's astonishing about this study, as you'll learn in this article, is that
all the children used in the study were given inactive forms of the St.
John's Wort herb where the active ingredients had been oxidized and rendered
useless! In other words, this clinical trial, which was widely reported in the
with headlines like "St. John's Wort Found Useless!" didn't test the herb's
active ingredients at all! It sort of makes you wonder about the agenda of the
people running the study, doesn't it?
Keep in mind that one of the study's authors, Dr. Biederman, is not merely on
the take from drug
companies that sell competing pharmaceuticals, but that he also lied about
how much money he was being paid by drug companies, hiding the truth about his
income by underreporting $1.6 million he took from
companies. See my report on that here:
Dr. Biederman has a clear financial interest in promoting patented prescription
drugs for brain
chemistry disorders while discrediting competing natural alternatives such
as St. John's Wort. This blatant conflict of interest was not disclosed by
JAMA, nor was it mentioned in
the text of the study on ADHD and St. John's Wort. It appears Dr. Biederman
would prefer his financial ties to
Big Pharma continue to
remain secret, even while producing questionable studies that desperately
attempt to show that herbs
Testing Herbs to Treat Fictitious Diseases
Well, beyond the fact that the herb used in the trial was entirely inactive
(meaning it was rendered useless even before the study began), there's also
another burning issue that questions the credibility of the study: ADHD
doesn't exist in the first place!
There is no such thing as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It's
something that psychiatrists just made up and voted into existence in order to
sell more drugs to children. There is no objective test for this "disease," nor
is there any physiological evidence of any kind that it exists at all. Thus,
to test an inactive herb on a disease that doesn't exist, and then declare the
herb doesn't work is an outrageous example of extreme intellectual dishonesty.
And yet it's precisely the kind of sleight-of-hand quackery carried out by
-- an industry that has nothing to offer society other than mind-numbing drugs,
and chemically-induced violence, obesity and diabetes.
But why let modern
psychiatry have all the fun inventing diseases? I could just as easily
invent a disease called "Stupid Scientist Disease" (SSD) and then test
aspirin on SSD. When I
demonstrated that aspirin had no effect on SSD, I could submit the paper to JAMA,
get it published, and have the national media report with blaring headlines,
"Aspirin Doesn't Work to Treat Stupid Scientist Disease!"
And if they actually print that, then we could move on to test aspirin on
"Stupid Journalist Disease," which also appears to be an
epidemic in modern
How to discredit
and spread fear, uncertainty and doubt
All this has the effect of making the medicine being tested look bad, which of
course was the whole point of conducting this study on St. John's Wort in the
first place. Modern
medical research is not about pursuing science, nor truth, nor objective
understanding about health. It is about pushing an agenda, and it's clear
that the agenda of Dr. Biederman and colleagues is about diagnosing more
children with more brain chemistry "diseases," then demanding that they all be
mind-altering drugs, all while desperately trying to convince the public
that herbs are useless.
By the way, you can invent your own psychiatric conditions at the click of your
mouse by using my free, highly-entertaining Disease Mongering Engine
I had hoped to create a similar online engine where you can randomly generate
fictitious scientific papers filled with psychobabble nonsense, but it appears
JAMA has already beat me to it...
St. John's Wort, for the record, has been clinically proven to be even more
effective than antidepressant drugs for treating mild to moderate depression.
That makes it better than all the SSRI drugs ever invented, but you don't hear
medical journals reminding anybody about that simple fact, do you? Instead, they
go out of their way to test it for the wrong condition -- a fictitious
condition! -- as an excuse to simply say St. John's Wort doesn't work for
A Disturbing Trend: Bastyr Naturopaths Partner with Dr. Biederman to
There's another disturbing trend in all this. The St. John's Wort study was led
by Wendy Weber, ND, a graduate of
Bastyr is an "integrative medicine" med school that teaches drug-based medicine
combined with more natural modalities. It's one of the top three naturopathic
schools in the U.S., and yet to learn that one of its graduates is now
collaborating with a psychiatric drug pusher who has been paid $1.6 million by
drug companies is more than a bit disturbing.
It indicates that this Bastyr graduate either has no idea about the true agenda
of the people she's working with or that she doesn't mind that agenda. Either
way, she sort of ends up looking rather silly with her name positioned above the
scandalous Dr. Joseph Biederman, a widely-hated Big Pharma disease monger who
will hopefully soon be arrested and prosecuted as a common criminal for
conducting medical experiments on four-year old children.
In the world of naturopathy, by the way, there is quite a chasm between the more
"conventional" N.D.s (like Bastyr graduates) and the holistic, natural,
salt-of-the-Earth kind of naturopathic healers who have no sponsoring
institution. The Bastyrs of the world are working hard to get naturopathic
medical practice legalized in many states, but they're also disliked by the
who end up being labeled criminals for practicing their own brand of natural
medicine in those same states.
Many non-accredited naturopaths insist that Bastyr is just a "green" replacement
for organized medicine's tyranny. Without a doubt, when people see Bastyr
graduates collaborating with top psychiatric drug pushers on a study that
clearly seeks to discredit a valuable herb, it just fans the flames of dissent
against Bastyr among more holistic practitioners.
What's my take on the issue? I think Wendy Weber must be a complete fool to lend
her name to such a study, because the very title of the study presupposes
something that's entirely false to begin with: That ADHD is a bonafide "disease"
in the first place. She even based the entire scoring of the participants'
symptoms on the American Psychiatric Association's DSM-IV -- the tome of
psychobabble "disorders" invented by a truly evil industry that seeks to label
every person still breathing with some sort of brain chemistry disorder (and
then demand that they all be "treated" with mind-altering drugs that just happen
to enrich their corporate sponsors, the drug companies!).
Remember, the DSM-IV is the manual that declares fear of public speaking to be a
"disorder." In fact, all the following are "mental health disorders," according
to the DSM-IV manual:
• Questioning authority (i.e. asking questions of medical authorities)
• Feeling overwhelmed by too many tasks (like we all are...)
• Being excitable (WHAT?)
• Frequently taking risks (like every entrepreneur in the world...)
• Inappropriately messy (like my desk...)
• Showing excessive stubbornness (No, I'm not stubborn!)
• Being argumentative (Oh yeah? Say that to my face...)
• Losing things (Where did I park my car, again?)
... and this list continues, including descriptions of virtually every human
emotion, thought or behavior. According to the DSM-IV, these are all
How many of these familiar to you? Don't we all lose our keys from time to time?
Don't we all have messy desks (except all you clean freaks, but don't get me
started on your cleanliness "disorder" okay?) Don't we all feel overwhelmed from
time to time by too many tasks?
This is the great gimmick of modern psychiatry: They just keep naming symptoms,
behaviors and thoughts until they find one that you've got! Then they declare
you to be "sick" and needing "treatment," and that's when the mind-altering
Personally, I'm shocked to learn of a Bastyr graduate lending any credence
whatsoever to the DSM-IV manual and the
diseases of modern psychiatry. It is shameful that such a well-educated
individual would spend her time and effort in such a futile psychobabble
exercise that proves nothing, and I can only hope that Wendy Weber refocuses her
considerable talents into a more productive direction in the future. (I also
hope that she denounces the actions of Dr. Biederman for lying about the $1.6
million he took from Big Pharma while pushing psych drugs for children... but
that's her choice, of course.)
Problems with the trial
Beyond the fatal problem of studying the effects of an herb on a
in the first place, this trial suffers from all sorts of other scientific
showstoppers. For starters, there were only 54 people used in the results of the
trial, with 27 receiving
placebo and 27 receiving St. John's Wort. This is a very small sample size
to justify any declaration that St. John's Wort doesn't work, especially given
the fact that it has been safely and effectively used by tens of millions of
people around the world in just the last decade or so.
Secondly, more than 40 percent of the children used in the study had previously
used psychiatric medications, so their brains have already been damaged by psych
drugs even before the study began! Psych drugs actually cause behavioral
disorders and long-term brain damage (which is evidenced by the fact that so
many children commit violent acts against themselves and others after taking
psychiatric medications). So why would an honest researcher study the
effectiveness of an herb on the brains of children that were already damaged by
psychiatric drugs in the first place? Unless, of course, they wanted the trial
to fail... but we'll get to that later.
Thirdly, the study contains numerous protocol mistakes that distort the final
results. For example, six children who displayed a large response to placebo
were supposed to have been dropped from the study to isolate the herb's effects
from placebo effects, but these kids were accidentally randomized and thrown
into the mix anyway, thereby distorting the final results in favor of placebo
responders, which makes the herb responders look weaker by comparison. This
troubling error in the study is never pointed out, of course, in the mainstream
media (whose journalists don't understand science anyway, and can't interpret
statistics with any degree of mathematical competence).
A fourth problem in the study is that young males are far more susceptible to
the kinds of behaviors that are labeled as "ADHD," compared to young females,
and yet in this study, the placebo group consisted of only about 50% males while
the herb treatment group consisted of nearly 75% males. In other words, the
placebo group was predisposed to a positive outcome simply due to its
composition of females vs. males, while the herb treatment group was predisposed
to a less-than-favorable response.
And finally, it turns out that the children used in this trial may not have
been receiving any active St. John's Wort at all! As stated directly in the
JAMA publication for this study:
The product used in this trial was tested for hypericin and hyperforin
content at the end of the trial and contained only 0.13% hypericin and 0.14%
Stop the presses! Are you telling me that the St. John's Wort used in this trial
contained barely one-tenth of one percent of the active chemical constituents in
the herb? Quality St. John's Wort supplements typically contain up to five
percent hyperforin, or thirty-five times the amount of active ingredient
used in this trial! In other words, the St. John's Wort being tested in this
trial was a sub-clinical dose, barely containing any usable St. John's Wort at
It's kind of like testing a dose of 2mg of aspirin to see if it has any
pain-relieving effect. Of course it doesn't, the dosage is too small!
But it gets even better. As the study text published in JAMA also admits:
Hyperforin is a very unstable constituent that quickly oxidizes and then
becomes inactive, which is likely what happened to the product used in this
What the heck? Did the study authors just admit that the St. John's Wort
they used in the trial was INACTIVE because it all oxidized? Yes, that's exactly
what they said!
Absolutely amazing, isn't it? This study, which was blasted across newspapers,
websites and cable news problems, was all based on a study of INACTIVE St.
John's Wort given at sub-clinical doses to a group of placebo-biased children
diagnosed with a fictitious disease!
A Classic Case of Junk Science
This, friends, is the state of
junk science today in
our modern medical industry. It is disgusting to see such papers making headline
news, knowing that the whole point of this study was clearly to fabricate
scientific-sounding lies about the uselessness of a very useful herb, and
thereby misinform consumers and drive more people to take drugs for ADHD. I'm
not at all surprised, of course, to see that JAMA gladly published it.
Wendy Weber, you should be ashamed of your role in this junk science fiasco, and
your authorship of this obviously politically-motivated study brings great
dishonor to the university from which you graduated. If you're going to push
drugs and discredit herbs by using contorted, intellectually dishonest trials
that are engineered to fail in the first place, then you might as well just
slap the letters M.D. after your name and stop using N.D. to describe your
credentials. Don't parade around as a naturopath if you're pulling stunts
like this that result in consumers being gravely misled about the efficacy of
herbs for supporting healthy
For a Bastyr graduate to even take part in a study that lends any credence
whatsoever to the DSM-IV -- and all its loopy, made-up descriptions of disorders
-- really makes me wonder what's happening in the classrooms over there these
days. I've interviewed both Joseph Pizzorno and Michael T. Murray on several
occasions, and I've found them to be extremely well-informed, high-integrity
individuals who were highly instrumental in the founding and the success of
Bastyr University. I couldn't imagine Michael T. Murray ever being involved in
such a poorly-designed study that seems to have set out -- from the very
beginning -- to obfuscate the efficacy of a valuable herb that's been used for
literally thousands of years to support healthy brain function.
researchers use sleight of hand to commit fraud
This is a favorite tactic of modern medical researchers who wish to discredit
herbs, vitamins or supplements: They simply use sub-clinical doses or
poorly-assimilated nutrients that never make it to the bloodstream, then they
declare the herb (or vitamin, or nutrient, or whatever) to be useless!
This is exactly what happened in the recent trials that tested Vitamin D on
The headlines touted the sensationalized conclusion that "Vitamin
D Has No Effect on Prostate Cancer!" But what was the truth behind the
As it turns out, virtually none of the men used in the study showed any
appreciable level of Vitamin D in their blood. That's because most of the men
studied in the trial didn't take their supplements! It's no surprise that if
you don't actually take your vitamin D supplements, they probably won't prevent
prostate cancer for you,
right? Yet this astonishing fact is NEVER mentioned in the mainstream press
reporting on this study. It's just one fact of many that are routinely ignored
by a national media more interested in trashing natural medicine than actually
reporting anything based on facts.
We saw this same tactic with one study on women's bone health and
calcium intake, by the
way. The headline blared, "Calcium Found Useless in Preventing Osteoporosis!"
but what the study actually proved -- to anyone who bothered to read it -- was
that women who don't take calcium supplements don't experience any benefits from
No kidding? Gee. And people who buy books but don't read them somehow don't
learn anything from them, either.
Supplements don't work if they're still sitting on your shelf. You actually do
have to consume them to experience their benefits. This should be obvious to
health reporters working in the mainstream media, but sadly, they still don't
grasp this rather obvious fact.
Neither did JAMA, it appears, since they went ahead and published this study
about ADHD and St. John's Wort even when it turns out that none of the children
likely consumed any active St. John's Wort ingredients after all.
By the way, don't you find it curious that the study authors only tested the
potency of the St. John's Wort supplements AFTER the study was completed, rather
than before? It's almost as if they didn't want to know the potency before they
started the trials.
Bad science conducted under the guise of
good science is worse
than bad science by itself, because it carries disinformation clothed in the
credibility of good science and thereby acts as a virus of the mind that infects
consumers. That mental virus is driven even deeper by the illusion of authority,
thereby making it ever more difficult for consumers to later purge those lies
from their belief systems so that they might awaken to the truth about healing
with natural medicine.
It is in this way that JAMA, and Wendy Weber, and the mainstream media all
perform a great disservice to the American people and further deepen the
epidemics of malnutrition, disease and over-medication that threaten the very
future of the western world.
Sample headlines from the mainstream media
By the way, here's a sampling of the headlines from mainstream media sources. As
you read these, realize that nobody bothered to actually read the study!
(Or if they did, they didn't understand it...)
St. John's wort fails to help kids with ADHD
The Associated Press
St. John's Wort Doesn't Work for ADHD
St. John's Wort No Help in ADHD
St. John's wort no better than placebo for ADHD, Bastyr study finds
St. John's Wort No Help for ADHD
Herb does not ease ADHD
St. John's wort doesn't help ADHD, study finds
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