Researchers looked at 29 previously published clinical trials (with a total of 5,489 participants) that compared the effects of St. John's wort to a placebo or standard antidepressant medication for a period of four to 12 weeks. As you are deciding on treatment, remember to tell each health care provider you work with about all the medications you are taking, including herbal or nutritional supplements, to ensure no potentially dangerous interactions occur. Many clinical studies have been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of St. John’s Wort in treating depression. The appropriate dose of St. John's wort for you will depend on several factors including your age, biological sex, and medical history. According to several of these studies, St. John’s wort may be more effective than a placebo (sugar pill), and as effective as prescription antidepressants, in treating mild depression. Apaydin EA, Maher AR, Shanman R, et al. St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a flowering plant. 2011;11(1):14-17. doi:10.1093/bjaceaccp/mkq046. 2. Thank you, {{form.email}}, for signing up. Today it is mainly used as an over-the-counter remedy to treat mild and moderate depression , and sometimes seasonal affective disorder (SAD) , mild anxiety and sleep problems . St. John's wort has several traditional uses. A 2004 Italian study reported that hyperforin can increase the levels of the brain chemicals serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline, which help to boost and regulate mood.4The researchers also … For example, if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to conceive, or taking oral contraceptives (birth control pills), it's important to talk with your doctor before you start taking St. John's wort. In: The ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs. Policy. A wild yellow flower regarded as a weed throughout most of the United States, St. John's wort has been used for medical purposes in other parts of the world for thousands of years. To help maintain its effectiveness, all preparations of the herb should be kept in a cool, dry, place. Study results on the effectiveness of Hypericum perforatum for depression have been mixed. Blumenthal M, Brinckmann J, Wollschlaeger B. St. John's Wort: Clinical Overview. The plant grows in sunny, well-drained areas. 2015 Jan-Feb;13(1):69-79. doi:10.1370/afm.1687, St. John's Wort. If you have a condition such as lupus or are taking medication that can cause photosensitivity (such as some acne medications), review the risks and benefits of taking St. John's wort with your doctor or pharmacist. The word "wort" means "plant" in Old English. Today, the popular herb is often used to ease the symptoms of depression. St. John's wort products need to be stored safely, just like any other medication. St. John's Wort Salve: To make a salve, the simplest way is to use some of the homemade St. John's Wort oil and add beeswax. St. John's wort is a plant with yellow, star-shaped flowers and five petals that grows in Europe, North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, and Eastern Asia. The present study was designed to evaluate the antioxidant properties of St. John's wort in both cell-free and human vascular tissu … St. John’s wort, … Ornamental Use. If you or someone you know is living with depression, you may be seeking different options to manage your symptoms. The study's authors found that St. John's wort extracts may be more effective than a placebo and were as effective as standard antidepressants. St. John's wort can be found in several different preparations depending on how it will be used. St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) is an herbal compound used in the treatment of burns, bruises, swelling, anxiety, and most recently, mild to moderate depression. Menopausal symptoms. Questions and Answers: A Trial of St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) for the Treatment of Major Depression. This condition is known as serotonin syndrome. It contains a rare combination of antidepressant chemicals that inhibit or delay the reuptake of certain neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. By the end of the eight-week trial, the average daily dose was 1,300mg per day. St.John's wort is widely believed to help boost mood and provide some relief from depression. What Is St. John’s Wort? Advertising on our site helps support our mission. Get useful, helpful and relevant health + wellness information. St. John's wort can cause serious interactions with commonly used medications because of how it gets broken down by the liver. St. John’s wort has been associated with very serious and potentially dangerous interactions with many common drugs. Ⓒ 2021 About, Inc. (Dotdash) — All rights reserved, Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. 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There are dry, oil, and liquid preparations, including tinctures, capsules, and elixirs. Each preparation of St. John's wort will have different potencies. St. John's wort may worsen symptoms in people with certain conditions, including: Some research has indicated taking certain herbal supplements, including St. John's wort, may increase your risk of complications if you are put under anesthesia. St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a flowering plant in the Hypericaceae family named for its bright yellow flowers that were said to bloom for the first time around St. John the Baptist's birthday. Additionally, this botanical helps to heal respiratory illness and is an effective herbal remedy against influenza. It has been used for medicinal purposes in other parts of the world for thousands of years. It may help to reduce mild to moderate depression. One reason people may wish to try the natural remedy for depression (as opposed to antidepressants that can increase serotonin) is that St. John's wort tends to have fewer side effects than medications. The herb is also being explored for the following health concerns: An oil made from St. John’s wort has also been used topically for wound healing and a variety of other skin conditions such as eczema and hemorrhoids. A few examples are St. Johns Wort, echinacea, ginkgo, garlic, ginseng, ginger, and blue cohosh. Depression. Always tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking St. John's wort or any other herbal product. A product label on St. John's wort might say, "enhances mood," but it cannot claim to treat a specific condition, such as depression. The authors noted that the studies conducted in German-speaking countries (where St. John's wort has a long history of use and is often recommended by physicians) reported more positive results than studies conducted in the United States and other countries. Taking St. John's wort with antidepressants or any substance that raises serotonin can cause serotonin syndrome, a potentially dangerous condition resulting from an excess of serotonin. Taking St. John’s wort with antidepressants can cause a dangerous increase in levels of serotonin, a hormone that affects mood. The herb can interact with medication in different ways. Unlike prescription and over-the-counter drugs, herbal supplements don't always come in child-proof containers. During the Middle Ages, St. John's wort … Several studies support the therapeutic benefit of St. John's wort in treating mild to moderate depression. The popular herbal therapy is often used … We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Hypericum perforatum, otherwise known as St. John’s Wort, is a flowering plant with yellow or copper-colored petals. St. John's Wort was used as folk medicine for the wounded, especially by the Knights of St. John during The Crusades. Elena Klimenko, MD, is a board-certified doctor in internal medicine and licensed in medical acupuncture and homeopathy. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. It can make some drugs less effective while making the effect of others stronger. The types of medications that may interact with St. John's Wort include: St. John's wort can also interact with other herbs and supplements. 300 mg three times a day for up to six weeks; 300 to 600 mg three times a day for six weeks; 350 mg three times a day for eight weeks; 300 to 600 mg three times a day for up to 26 weeks; Assistance with wound healing (when applied to the skin as a lotion), Increased sensitivity to the sun, especially if you are fair-skinned and taking large doses. Although the benefit of St. John's wort is still being explored, research suggests the herb can be more effective than a placebo in alleviating mild-to-moderate depression. St. John's Wort … St John’s wort is a herbal remedy used as a complementary therapy for mild to moderate depression. It said that scientists had pooled data from 29 studies that compared the effect of the plant Hypericum perforatum to placebos and anti-depressants in treating people with depression. St. John's wort is widely available in pharmacies, supermarkets, and health food stores and comes in different doses. St John's wort is a herbal remedy that has been used for hundreds of years to treat mental health problems. While the research on St. John's wort is promising, it's crucial that you work with your healthcare provider and discuss whether it's appropriate for you, rather than trying it on your own. In 2007, the National Health Interview Survey found a large decrease in St. John's wort use by adults in the United States, when it was not among the 20 most commonly used dietary supplements . People have been using St. John's wort for centuries. St. John’s wort (both oral or topical) can also increase the sensitivity of your skin and eyes to sunlight. Without treatment, the condition can be fatal. The genus Hypericum (which is variously assigned to the families Hypericaceae , Guttiferae , or Clusiaceae ) contains some 300 species of plants ranging from creeping forms to 15-foot-tall shrubs. The maximum dose given was 1,800mg per day. Use 4 oz of oil to 1/2 oz of beeswax, optionally you can also add a few drops of vitamin E to help preserve the oil. Could an Herbal Remedy Help Relieve Your OCD Symptoms? Preparations in the U.S. have different amounts of active ingredient, so be careful to note how much you're getting in your tablets. 'St John's Wort has gained a reputation as an anti-depressant for mild to moderate depression ,' says Spence. It has been widely used to relieve symptoms of depression for generations and is now a popular natural solution that doctors and psychiatrists often prescribe to their patients. During Medieval times, St. John's Wort was used to drive out the \"inner devil\" in people. Continuing Education in Anaesthesia Critical Care & Pain. Researchers suspect that ingredients in the herb (hypericin and hyperforin) may increase levels of certain brain chemicals, like serotonin. It’s also used to treat heart palpitations, moodiness, the symptoms of ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, seasonal affective disorder and menopause. CORONAVIRUS: DELAYS FOR ROUTINE SURGERIES, VISITOR RESTRICTIONS + COVID-19 TESTING. Read our, Medically reviewed by Daniel B. St Johns Wort is a medicinal plant Extremely powerful for its action on the deep depression, the chronic insomnia, fears paranoid, fight against the intense stress, anxiety and the loss of joy in life. Syst Rev 5, 148 (2016) doi:10.1186/s13643-016-0325-2, Linde K, Berner MM, Kriston L. St John's wort for major depression. The researchers examined 66 previously published studies (with a total of 15,161 participants) and found that both antidepressant medications and St. John's wort extracts were more effective than a placebo for treating mild to moderate depression. This condition is known as serotonin syndrome. Greek and Roman medical sources report the use of St. John's wort as a topical treatment for healing wounds and for treating kidney stones, sciatica, menstrual problems and snakebites. Does St. John's Wort Have Any Drug Interactions With Antidepressants? But if you are not interested in herbalism, you will probably find greater value in relatives of the same genus. St John’s wort. Efficacy and acceptability of pharmacological treatments for depressive disorders in primary care: Systematic review and network meta-analysis. Taking St. John’s wort with antidepressants can cause a dangerous increase in levels of serotonin, a hormone that affects mood. NIH website. Always tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking St. John's wort or any other herbal product. Delaying or forgoing treatment for depression can have serious consequences. Symptoms of serotonin syndrome include confusion, fever, hallucinations, nausea, loss of muscle coordination, sweating, and shakiness. Additionally, the herb appeared to have fewer side effects. If you surf the web or read your local newspaper, you've probably seen something about herbal supplements, such as St. John’s wort, and their role in treating depression. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop taking St. John’s wort and seek immediate medical attention. Natural Medicines Database. In its native Europe, St.-John’s-wort is not a cause for complaint, but elsewhere its rampant habits and toxicity have made it planta non grata. Famously known for easing depression, anxiety, SAD, and OCD, St. John’s Wort is also an exceptional anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. Updated October 25, 2018. People with depression often have low levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters.. Although dozens of people swear by it, St. John's wort is still considered an alternative therapy by many experts. 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44195 |. St John's wort is a herbal remedy most often used to treat depression. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. St. John's wort has been used in alternative medicine as a possibly effective aid in treating somatization disorder (physical illness or symptoms without a known cause), or hot flashes caused by menopause. Begin the New Year on a Bright Note with St. John’s Wort; My Top 3 Uses. Depending on the preparation, St. John’s wort can be taken in any of the following ways: Do not take St. John's wort during pregnancy or while you are breastfeeding. Research on St. John's wort use for specific conditions shows: 1. There is not enough scientific data to provide a standard recommended dose of St. John's wort, though there are doses commonly used by researchers who are investigating the herb's effect on depression. Meanwhile, a Swiss alchemist and doctor,10 Paracelsus, recommended St. John's Wort to be used against hallucinations.11 However, St. John's Wort's history of medicinal use actually dates back even further to ancient Greece, where its flowers and leaves were used as a medicine.12 Nowadays, St. Joh… Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/16/2017. Professional Monograph. St. John's wort is most commonly used for "the blues" or depression and symptoms that sometimes go along with mood such as nervousness, tiredness, poor appetite, and trouble sleeping. If you do choose to use it, however, here is some information you'll need to know. A systematic review of St. John’s wort for major depressive disorder. Policy, Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. Block, MD, Overview of Treatment Options for Depression, 6 Antidepressants You Can Get Over-the-Counter, Herbal Supplements to Try for Relief of Panic and Anxiety Symptoms, Try This Natural Treatment for Social Anxiety, Benefits and Risks of Using St. Johns Wort for Childhood Depression. Named for St. John the Baptist (because it blooms around the day of his feast), St. John's wort is continually being studied to try to demonstrate its alleged benefits. The Neurological Institute is a leader in treating and researching the most complex neurological disorders and advancing innovations in neurology. People taking an oral St. John’s wort supplement for a short period of time may experience side effects. St. John’s wort can weaken how well other drugs work, including antidepressants, birth control pills, cyclosporine (an anti-rejection drug), digoxin (a heart drug), HIV drugs, cancer medications, and blood thinners such as Coumadin. Ann Fam Med. The flowers are used to make liquid extracts, pills, and teas. The true benefits of St. John's wort are still being explored. You should avoid taking any nutritional supplement or remedy that can raise serotonin, such as 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), L-tryptophan, or SAMe if you are taking St. John's wort. For thousands of years, this herb has been made into tinctures, teas, and herbal remedies, and its effects remain highly sought after. Historically, St. John’s wort has been used for a variety of conditions, including kidney and lung ailments, insomnia, and depression, and to aid wound healing. For example, St. John's wort is a popular herbal supplement thought to be useful for treating depression in some cases. Some studies have used St. John's wort extract standardized to 0.2 percent hypericin at doses of 250 mg twice daily and when the extract standardized is to 5 percent hyperforin, St John's wort has b… Treating Other Conditions with St. John's Wort Apply St. John's Wort to your skin. Melt in a double boiler or small crock pot on low until beeswax is dissolved. The strength may also vary from one supplement brand to another. Uses for St. John's wort St. John's wort has long been used medicinally as an anti-inflammatory for strains, sprains, and contusions. St. John’s wort should not be used in place of standard antidepressants. The herb is also being explored for the following health concerns: For example, in most studies, St. John's wort is used at doses of 300 mg three times daily (when the extract was standardized to 0.3 percent hypericin content). doi:10.1002/14651858.CD000448.pub3, Linde K, Kriston L, Rücker G, et al. Herbal medicines and anesthesia. What Is St. John’s Wort? These may include: When used topically, St. John's wort may cause a skin rash. A number of compounds that have pharmacological activity including naphthodianthrones (hypericin, pseudohypericin, protohypericin, and cyclopseudohypericin), flavonoids (quercetin, rutin, … Austin, TX: American Botanical Council; 2003:303-316. It grows to be 50-100 cm tall.. St. John's wort … The onset of the effect can be expected within 4 weeks of treatment. 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