John's wort is
well studied and is shown to be effective in treating mild to moderate
depression. If you suffer from mild to moderate depression, consider
taking this herb. Be sure to take it for up to 8 weeks before judging
how effective it is.
you are currently on a prescription medications, you'll need to check
with your pharmacist or doctor first. St. John's wort interacts with
many prescription medications.
Table of Contents
to Moderate Depression
/ Wound Healing
Affective Disorder (SAD)
|Burns, Wounds and Other Skin Conditions|
|Anxiety - May not be effective|
Well-designed clinical trials show that taking this herbs did not help reduce social anxiety disorder.
Disorder (OCD) - Probably
clinical studies showed it was helpful but a later well-designed study
(blinded and placebo controlled) show that it was no better than taking
a placebo (sugar pill).
Probably not effective
studies suggested that this herb may be helpful for helping with
quitting smoking. However, a clinical trial done showed it didn't make
any difference in quitting rate.
- Probably not effective|
and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is St.
John's Wort also known as?
parts of the world, people may refer to it as goatweed, hypericum or
Klamath weed. It is commonly misspelled as St. John's Wart.
What chemicals are found in St. John's Wort?
John's Wort contain many chemicals believed to have an effect on our
body. The three that interest scientists are hypericum, hyperforin and
What is the history behind St. John's Wort?
herb has been used since the Middle Ages and its benefits have even
been recorded by Hippocrates. It has be used for centuries in
treating depression. Currently, the Germans use this herb extensively
to treat anxiety and depression. The scientific community is currently
showing renewed interest in what this herb can treat.
What use is
supported by scientific research studies?
This herb is
shown to be effective in treating mild and moderate (and even
depression. It has been studied in
Europe for the past 20 years.
also suggest it to be helpful in treating some of the psychological
symptoms related to premenstrual syndrome (PMS). For those suffering
from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), it was shown to be effective.
It was even
more effective when combined with conventional light therapy.
studies show that this herb, when applied to the skin, seems to help
with various skin conditions such as eczema, wound healing, minor
sunburns and hemorrhoid conditions.
In Germany, the German Commission E has approved it for use in treating
depression, anxiety, dermatitis, wounds and burns.
that this herb can be used for those with HIV/AIDS. Is it true?
studies done in the lab, this herb was able to kill off virus and
bacteria. However a clinical study done in those suffering from
HIV/AIDS showed that this herb had no effect on the virus.
How quick can I expect to see results from taking
St. John's Wort?
will take at least 2 weeks and often up to 8 weeks before you can see
good results. (For comparison, prescription antidepressants need at
least 3 weeks before good results can be expected.)
for major/severe depression. Will St. John's Wort help?
review of all high-quality research studies (from Cochrane Database
System) allowed the authors (Linde, Oct 2008) to conclude that this
herb is as effective as standard antidepressant medications and had
fewer reported side effects than standard antidepressant medications
for treating major depression.
It is very important that those suffering from major depression be
under the supervision of their family doctor.
Uses and Health Benefits
- attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
- depression (mild, moderate and major)
- HIV/AIDS / anti-viral effects
- menopause symptoms
- migraine headache
- neuropathic pain
- obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- premenstrual symptoms (PMS)
- seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- smoking cessation
- minor burns
- muscle strain
- wound healing
- varicose veins
some side effects of taking St. John's wort?
people report using this herb to only cause mild side effects.
side effects include: dizziness, fatigue/sedation, insomnia,
restlessness/anxiety, dry mouth, constipation, stomach pain and cramps,
photosensitivity, rash and itching. It may also cause sexual
dysfunction and impotence.
To avoid stomach related side effects, take this herb with a meal.
are some dangers in using St. John's wort?
seems to induce the liver enzymes causing drugs to
breakdown faster. St. John's wort is shown to increase or
action of many prescription drugs. We have listed several major dangers
of using this supplement while you are on other prescription drugs.
Do not combine this supplement with other prescription without
checking with your doctor or pharmacist.
Taking St. John's wort with prescription migraine medications
such as Imitrex, Amerge, Maxalt and Zomig (and others) may
significantly worsen the side effects of this group of drugs.
St. John's wort by women may cause breakthrough bleeding, affect the
regular menstrual cycle. For women taking oral contraceptive pills
(birth control pills), it might make it less effective and cause
Also, St. John's wort also causes blooding thinning medications such as
Coumadin (warfarin) to be less effective. This could cause excessive
In theory, St. John's wort seems to increase the effect of Plavix
possibly causing more bleeding than usual.
How safe is it to use this herb in children?
is one study done in children to show that it is safe to use. Dosage
should be no more than half the adult dose. Use this herb in children
under medical supervision.
Dosage & How
to Take It
Take 300 to 500 mg three times daily (standardized to 0.3% hypericin or
3% hyperforin). Take with food to avoid stomach complaints.
Infusion - Take 2 to 4 grams three times daily.
On the Skin
- The typical dosage is not known. A 1.5% concentration preparation
been used. Apply up to three times daily to treat dermatitis,
wounds and hemorrhoids.
St. John's Wort
Revised: November 29, 2011
Use the search box below to
quickly find what you are looking for!
Home | What's New! | A-Z Herbs | A-Z Ailments | FAQ's | Sitemap | Privacy