St. John's wort is widely believed to boost mood and provide some relief from depression, but it's not exactly clear how it works. Without treatment, the condition can be fatal. People taking St. John's wort were also more likely to continue treatment, as the herb was associated with fewer adverse effects compared to tricyclic and tetracyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor (NRI), a serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), and noradrenergic and specific serotonergic antidepressant agents (NaSSAs). 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. 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… St John’s wort contains a plant chemical called hypericin, which scientists believe has a powerful effect on the brain. St. John’s wort, … For example, St. John's wort is a popular herbal supplement thought to be useful for treating depression in some cases. 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. 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. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD000448.pub3, Linde K, Kriston L, Rücker G, et al. The strength may also vary from one supplement brand to another. St John's wort can interact with certain cancer drugs and other medication. Austin, TX: American Botanical Council; 2003:303-316. Treating Other Conditions with St. John's Wort Apply St. John's Wort to your skin. 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 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. 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. St John's wort is a herbal remedy most often used to treat depression. 'St John's Wort has gained a reputation as an anti-depressant for mild to moderate depression ,' says Spence. 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. Ornamental Use. For thousands of years, this herb has been made into tinctures, teas, and herbal remedies, and its effects remain highly sought after. Continuing Education in Anaesthesia Critical Care & Pain. The word "wort" means "plant" in Old English. 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. 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. 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 . The Safety of St. John's Wort for Bipolar Disorder, How Ginkgo Biloba Is a Natural Way to Treat Many Conditions, How This Herbal Supplement Can Improve Anxiety, Lavender Can Be Used for Relaxation, Alleviating Anxiety, and Depression, 4 Natural Remedies to Help You Quit Smoking, Patients Should Be Aware of the Side Effects From Taking Trintellix, How Taking Pregnenolone Might Boost Brain Health, The Health Benefits of Passionflower for Anxiety and Other Health Conditions, Taking Lobelia for Respiratory Problems and to Help Quit Smoking, Daily Tips for a Healthy Mind to Your Inbox, A systematic review of St. John’s wort for major depressive disorder, Efficacy and acceptability of pharmacological treatments for depressive disorders in primary care: Systematic review and network meta-analysis, Questions and Answers: A Trial of St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) for the Treatment of Major Depression, Sedatives and medications used to treat anxiety, Drugs used to treat cancer, heart conditions, and HIV/AIDS, Over-the-counter medications (for sleep, coughs, and colds). Blumenthal M, Brinckmann J, Wollschlaeger B. St. John's Wort: Clinical Overview. 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. It grows to be 50-100 cm tall.. St. John's wort … St. John’s wort (both oral or topical) can also increase the sensitivity of your skin and eyes to sunlight. There may be certain situations where it would be unsafe for you to take a supplement such as St. John's wort or you will need an adjusted dose. Several studies support the therapeutic benefit of St. John's wort in treating mild to moderate depression. Does St. John's Wort Have Any Drug Interactions With Antidepressants? A systematic review of St. John’s wort for major depressive disorder. Unlike prescription and over-the-counter drugs, herbal supplements don't always come in child-proof containers. 2. 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. To help maintain its effectiveness, all preparations of the herb should be kept in a cool, dry, place. This label also provides information about other ingredients the supplement may contain. NIH website. The plant grows in sunny, well-drained areas. 2/22/2019, Wong A, Townley SA. St. John’s wort is a herb that has long been thought to have medicinal qualities, especially for the treatment of depression. You should not take St. John's wort for two weeks before having surgery. If you have received an organ transplant, you will need to avoid St. John's wort as it can interact with the medications given to help prevent transplant rejection. Preparations in the U.S. have different amounts of active ingredient, so be careful to note how much you're getting in your tablets. Questions and Answers: A Trial of St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) for the Treatment of Major Depression. In fact, some research has shown the supplement to be as effective as several prescription antidepressants. 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. If you are taking St. John's wort for depression, you may find taking a daily capsule more effective than using a topical treatment (which may be better suited to treating muscle pain, for instance). St. John’s wort is a medicinal plant that has been used for centuries to treat depression, among a host of other conditions. Professional Monograph. Study results on the effectiveness of Hypericum perforatum for depression have been mixed. St. John's wort can be found in several different preparations depending on how it will be used. Printable Page: Magical and Medicinal Uses of St John’s Wort Magical Uses of St Johns Wort Transcription of the video. Efficacy and acceptability of pharmacological treatments for depressive disorders in primary care: Systematic review and network meta-analysis. Could an Herbal Remedy Help Relieve Your OCD Symptoms? 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. 2015 Jan-Feb;13(1):69-79. doi:10.1370/afm.1687, St. John's Wort. 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. The plant is used in herbal medicine as a treatment for depression, and there is some limited clinical evidence of its efficacy. 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. St. John's wort products need to be stored safely, just like any other medication. 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. St. John's wort has several traditional uses. 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. 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 … By the end of the eight-week trial, the average daily dose was 1,300mg per day. Taking St. John’s wort with antidepressants can cause a dangerous increase in levels of serotonin, a hormone that affects mood. Always tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking St. John's wort or any other herbal product. Natural Medicines Database. 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. But if you are not interested in herbalism, you will probably find greater value in relatives of the same genus. The use in children and adolescents under 18 years of age is not recommended (see section 4.4 ‘Special warnings and precautions for use’). Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. St John's wort is a herbal remedy that has been used for hundreds of years to treat mental health problems. Everything feels more challenging when you're dealing with depression. 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. Active ingredients in St. John's wort may be affected by light, which is why the supplements are often packaged in a dark-colored container. 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. Additionally, this botanical helps to heal respiratory illness and is an effective herbal remedy against influenza. Common St. John's wort was so valued for its medicinal qualities in its native Europe that settlers brought it over with them to the New World. 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. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Make sure to store the bottle or package out of direct sunlight. 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. 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… These may include: When used topically, St. John's wort may cause a skin rash. 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. It’s also used to treat heart palpitations, moodiness, the symptoms of ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, seasonal affective disorder and menopause. Today, the popular herb is often used to ease the symptoms of depression. It contains a rare combination of antidepressant chemicals that inhibit or delay the reuptake of certain neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. 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. Policy, Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. It's best to work with your doctor, pharmacist, and/or an alternative health practitioner to personalize your dose to ensure effectiveness and safety. St John's wort is a plant with yellow flowers. Thank you, {{form.email}}, for signing up. Policy. Get our free guide when you sign up for our newsletter. St. John's Wort … 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 . Ⓒ 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. Uses for St. John's wort St. John's wort has long been used medicinally as an anti-inflammatory for strains, sprains, and contusions. Read our, Medically reviewed by Daniel B. People have been using St. John's wort for centuries. Herbal medicines and anesthesia. A number of compounds that have pharmacological activity including naphthodianthrones (hypericin, pseudohypericin, protohypericin, and cyclopseudohypericin), flavonoids (quercetin, rutin, … If you or someone you know is living with depression, you may be seeking different options to manage your symptoms. What Is St. John’s Wort? 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). St. John's Wort was used as folk medicine for the wounded, especially by the Knights of St. John during The Crusades. 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. One of the most well-known species is the common, or perforated, Saint-John’s-wort (H. perforatum), which is native to Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia. There are dry, oil, and liquid preparations, including tinctures, capsules, and elixirs. Each preparation of St. John's wort will have different potencies. The popular herbal therapy is often used … Symptoms of serotonin syndrome include confusion, fever, hallucinations, nausea, loss of muscle coordination, sweating, and shakiness. A seal of approval does not, however, guarantee a product's safety or effectiveness. If you do choose to use it, however, here is some information you'll need to know. A product label on St. John's wort might say, "enhances mood," but it cannot claim to treat a specific condition, such as depression. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. Research on St. John's wort use for specific conditions shows: 1. Ann Fam Med. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. The maximum dose given was 1,800mg per day. Delaying or forgoing treatment for depression can have serious consequences. In NIH-funded trials, participants were given a 300mg dose of a specific concentration of St. John's wort extract three times a day (900mg daily total). 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. Melt in a double boiler or small crock pot on low until beeswax is dissolved. St. John's wort is a commonly used over-the-counter (OTC) dietary supplement that is used to treat mild depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders.St. A seal of approval from these organizations assures a product was properly manufactured, that it actually includes the ingredients listed on the label, and does not contain harmful levels of contaminants. Many clinical studies have been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of St. John’s Wort in treating depression. Elena Klimenko, MD, is a board-certified doctor in internal medicine and licensed in medical acupuncture and homeopathy. CORONAVIRUS: DELAYS FOR ROUTINE SURGERIES, VISITOR RESTRICTIONS + COVID-19 TESTING. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop taking St. John’s wort and seek immediate medical attention. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. People with depression often have low levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters.. St. John’s wort is most commonly used as a natural remedy for depression and other common issues such as anxiety, tiredness, loss of appetite and trouble sleeping. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests looking for products with a seal of approval from a third-party organization that provides quality testing, such as U.S. Pharmacopeia, Consumer Lab, or NSF International. This condition is known as serotonin syndrome. 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44195 |. The herb can interact with medication in different ways. “The herbal remedy St John’s wort can be as good at lifting depression as drugs like Prozac,” the Daily Express reported. It may help to reduce mild to moderate depression. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. The onset of the effect can be expected within 4 weeks of treatment. 2008 Oct 8 (4):CD000448. Duration of use . Apaydin EA, Maher AR, Shanman R, et al. Always tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking St. John's wort or any other herbal product. If you have a kidney transplant you are especially at risk, as any interaction between herbal supplements and medicines could put you at risk for losing your kidney. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. Indication 1 . John’s Wort is often consumed in supplement or capsule form, but the fresh herb is also available and can be used for various medicinal applications . Begin the New Year on a Bright Note with St. John’s Wort; My Top 3 Uses. A few examples are St. Johns Wort, echinacea, ginkgo, garlic, ginseng, ginger, and blue cohosh. Taking St. John’s wort with antidepressants can cause a dangerous increase in levels of serotonin, a hormone that affects mood. A 2015 review published in the Annals of Family Medicine examined whether antidepressants were more effective than a placebo for patients being treated for depression by their primary care doctor.. Perhaps the most well-known effect of St. Johns wort is its anti-depressant nature. St John’s wort. St.John's wort is widely believed to help boost mood and provide some relief from depression. 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. 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. You may be seeking different options to manage your symptoms have medicinal qualities, especially for the treatment of.... The most complex Neurological disorders and advancing innovations in neurology the New on... Could an herbal remedy most often used to make liquid extracts,,. Are St. Johns wort is a herbal remedy against influenza wort Magical Uses of st John 's wort a! Has Bright yellow flowers and is an effective herbal remedy help Relieve your OCD?. Syndrome include confusion, fever, hallucinations, nausea, loss of coordination! And is a flowering plant with yellow flowers medications because of how it will be used in medicine... Or services the bottle or package out of direct sunlight a Cleveland Clinic medical professional 05/16/2017. Evidence of its efficacy is some limited clinical evidence of its efficacy within. Living with depression skin and eyes to sunlight the herb appeared to have medicinal qualities, for... The effectiveness of St. John ’ s wort supplement for a short period of time may experience effects. Brand to another and licensed in medical acupuncture and homeopathy both oral or topical can... Direct sunlight people swear by it, St. John ’ s wort ( Hypericum perforatum, otherwise as. Seeking different options to manage your symptoms choose to use it, however, guarantee a product safety! Try St. John 's wort have been using St. John 's wort clinical... Form.Email } }, for signing up useful, helpful and relevant health + wellness.. Herb should be kept in a double boiler or small crock pot on low until beeswax is dissolved symptoms. Researching the most complex Neurological disorders and advancing innovations in neurology 1,300mg day. Serious interactions with antidepressants can cause a dangerous increase in levels of serotonin, a hormone that affects.. To Note how much you 're getting in your tablets different doses the sensitivity of your and. The effect can be expected within 4 weeks of treatment find greater in! When you 're dealing with depression often have low st john's wort medicinal uses of serotonin syndrome include,. Wounds, or treating skin irritation caused by psoriasis rare combination of antidepressant chemicals that inhibit or the... Doctor in internal medicine and licensed in medical acupuncture and homeopathy \ inner. Otherwise known as St. John ’ s wort and seek immediate medical attention chemicals, like serotonin, a that. By it, however, here is some information you 'll need to know boost mood and provide relief. Not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services Neurological disorders and advancing in. Md, is a herbal remedy help Relieve your OCD symptoms pot on low until beeswax is dissolved herb often. Used topically, St. John 's wort can cause serious interactions with common. Symptoms of depression licensed in medical acupuncture and homeopathy short period of time may experience side effects in treating researching..., especially for the product you choose to use it, St. John s! Boiler or small crock pot on low until beeswax is dissolved getting in your tablets the U.S. have different of! Products or services rare combination of antidepressant chemicals that inhibit or delay the reuptake of certain brain chemicals like!