St John's Wort and Depression

St John’s Wort and Depression

St John’s Wort and Depression

The bright yellow flower of the St. Johns Wort (hypericum perforatum) with it’s ray-like petals, represents the power of the sun that forces away the darkness. This already points to the anti-depressant effects of the St Johns Wort which are highly respected, even in conventional medicine.

St. John’s Wort, a perennial plant, has been used for hundreds of years to treat depression, unrest and anxiety disorders as well as nerve pain.

For a long time, doctors and herbalists alike have known about its use as a sedative, but also as treatment for wounds, burns, insect bites, stomach ulcers and more.

 It is still used widely today and it’s effectiveness has been proven to a point where some insurance companies are now covering the treatment.

It is not a powerful drug — when used to treat depression — in the sense of bringing a quick recovery, but shows excellent long term results in many patients. The herb assists body and soul in the healing process and helps to build a solid foundation for a complete recovery.

St. John’s Wort was tested in a double-blind study of 105 male and female patients in the 20 to 64 year age group, suffering from mild to moderate depression. They were divided into two groups and monitored over a period of four weeks.

 One group were given 300mg of St Johns Wort extract three times daily, and the other received a placebo. All of the patients had psychiatric evaluations before the start of the study and after four weeks of treatment.

The results revealed that, 67% of the St Johns Wort group had responded positively to the treatment without any adverse side effects whereas only 28% of the placebo group showed any signs of improvement.

St John’s Wort is available as tea (flowers and leaves), liquid extracts and pills or capsules. It is normally taken thrice daily and it will take one week or more to notice any improvement in the condition.

Treatment can be continued for long periods of time as the herb does not normally produce any side effects. But St Johns Wort can interact strongly with other medication e.g.

cancer and HIV drugs, contraceptive pills and others. So it is vitally important to consult a medical specialist first before starting a course of treatment.

One effect of St Johns Wort is, that it makes the skin more sensitive to light. It is therefore important to keep out of the sun as much as possible while using the herb. There is growing evidence to suggest that St. Johns Wort is a safe and effective, natural remedy for the treatment of mild to medium depression.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is presented for information purposes only. The material is in no way intended to replace professional medical care or attention by a qualified practitioner. It cannot and should not be used as a basis for diagnosis or choice of treatment.

Mireille Gautschi is a qualified Flower Essence Therapist and Herbalist who has many years experience with the developement of natural herbal remedies. Her products can be found on the Hillside Herbal Products website www.hillsideherbal.com.au that also offers a very informative newsletter.

 

FAQ

How does St John’s wort work for depression?

St. John’s wort is thought to work by keeping the brain from using up neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, GABA, and norepinephrine. As a result, the neurotransmitters are more effectively used in the brain. This can have an antidepressant and overall feel-good effect in the brain.

How long does it take for St John’s wort to work for depression?

It may take 3 to 6 weeks to feel any effects from St. John’s wort. DO NOT stop taking St. John’s wort all at once because that may cause unpleasant side effects.

Is St John’s wort a mood stabilizer?

John’s wort creates many actions in the body. “It is a strong antidepressant and may elevate mood in individuals with mild to moderate depression,” he said. He notes that St. John’s wort is not recommended for individuals with severe depression.

What is the best time of day to take St John’s wort?

It can cause some side effects such as trouble sleeping, vivid dreams, restlessness, anxiety, irritability, stomach upset, fatigue, dry mouth, dizziness, headache, skin rash, diarrhea, and tingling. Take St. John’s wort in the morning or lower the dose if it seems to be causing sleep problems.

How does St John’s wort make you feel?

John’s wort are usually minor and uncommon. They may include upset stomach, dry mouth, headache, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, sexual dysfunction, or sensitivity to sunlight. Also, St. John’s wort is a stimulant and may worsen feelings of anxiety in some people.

Should I take St John’s wort in the morning or night?

It can cause some side effects such as trouble sleeping, vivid dreams, restlessness, anxiety, irritability, stomach upset, fatigue, dry mouth, dizziness, headache, skin rash, diarrhea, and tingling. Take St. John’s wort in the morning or lower the dose if it seems to be causing sleep problems.

Does  St John’s wort give you energy?

St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) is used in traditional herbalism as a nerve tonic and antidepressant. It is said to be helpful in revitalizing those who are tired, low in energy, or simply fed up.

What does St John’s wort do to the brain?

St. John’s wort is thought to work by keeping the brain from using up neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, GABA, and norepinephrine. As a result, the neurotransmitters are more effectively used in the brain. This can have an antidepressant and overall feel-good effect in the brain.

Is St John’s wort poisonous to humans?

St. John’s wort has been used for centuries and is generally regarded as safe when taken alone and in recommended doses. However, it is well known to have several drug interactions that can result in serious adverse effects or other problems with medications you might already be taking.

Can you drink alcohol with St John’s wort?

You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with St. John’s wort. Alcohol can increase the nervous system side effects of St. John’s wort such as dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating.

Can you take vitamin D with St John Wort?

Interactions between your drugs

No interactions were found between st. john’s wort and Vitamin D3. This does not necessarily mean no interactions exist. Always consult your healthcare provider.

What vitamin deficiency causes anxiety and depression?

Some research suggests that having a vitamin D deficiency could also be linked with anxiety disorders. For example: A 2015 review study reports that people with symptoms of anxiety or depression had lower levels of calcidiol, a byproduct of vitamin D breakdown, in their bodies.

Is St John’s Wort good for nerve pain?

St. John’s wort may be used for nerve pain (neuralgia), anxiety, and tension. It may also aid in weakness, stress, irritability, and sleeping issues (insomnia). It’s also claimed to ease the pain due to some conditions.

Is St John’s wort anti-inflammatory?

St. John’s wort (SJW) has been described to show anti-inflammatory properties due to its inhibitory effects on the expression of pro-inflammatory genes like cyclooxygenase-2, interleukin-6, and inducible nitric-oxide synthase (iNOS).