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St. John’s Wort – A Herbal Remedy
for Depression

St. John's Wort

St. John’s Wort, also known as Hypericum perforatum, is perhaps the most well-known of the anti-depressant ‘herbs’. This remedy has been used since ancient times for a variety of ills. St. John’s Wort gets its name because its flower blooms around the feast date of St. John the Baptist (June 24th). “Wort” is just an Old English word for plant.

In the late Middle Ages, physicians used this supplement to treat illness of “imagination” such as depression and anxiety. The herb may relieve the symptoms of a mild to moderate depression. However, the product is not known to have any effect on those who suffer from a major depression and is not recommended for use along with prescribed antidepressants because a negative reaction could occur. This herbal supplement is used more commonly in Europe than in the United States where prescription medications seem to be favored in the treatment of mild, moderate and severe depressive illnesses.

St. John’s Wort doesn’t appear to have any of the negative side effects of other antidepressants such as nausea, vomiting, weight gain, headaches and so forth. It can interact with some prescription medications, specifically anti-anxiety medications, those taken for heart conditions, particularly the blood-thinners like Plavix, and certain hormones such as cortisone and estrogen.

As with any medication — prescription, herbal and/or supplement — it is best to check with your doctor or holistic health practitioner prior to adding St. John’s Wort or any new medication/supplement into your regimen.

Article by Deanna Couras Goodson


St. John’s Wort
St. John's Wort is a popular treatment for mild to moderate depression; St. John's Wort is also used to treat anxiety, seasonal affective disorder, and sleep disorders. St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a long-living, wild-growing herb with yellow flowers that has been used for centuries to treat mental disorders as well as nerve pain. In ancient times, doctors and herbalists (herb specialists) wrote about St. John's Wort as a sedative and antimalarial agent as well as a balm for wounds, burns, and insect bites. Read more…

Herbal Relief for Depression: St. John's Wort (Hypericum)
At least one out of every 20 Americans gets depressed each year, and many rely on anti-depressants to help them cope. A new study shows the herb St. John's Wort might be just as effective, and with fewer side effects. The August 3, 1996 issue of the British Medical Journal contains an analysis of approximately 25 studies that suggest that St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is just as helpful as commonly used drugs, without side effects such as headaches or vomiting. Dr. Cynthia Mulrow, one of the study's authors, says the findings are not surprising. “Some of the commonly used medicines have a basis on herbs or have a basis in plants, and some of the ones were developed using plants.” Read more…

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