St. John's Wort: Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, Dosage, Warnings?


ST. JOHN'S WORT: Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, Dosage, Warnings?

St. John's Wort
The wort is known for its antidepressant effects, although it was once considered a magical plant, a "devil hunting." For nearly 2,500 years, it is used to repel melancholy. Calming, St. John's wort, or hypericum officinalis, is also effective against insomnia, to promote restful sleep, to aid in smoking cessation or to relieve sores.

St. John's WortScientific name: Hypericum perforatum

Common names: St. John's Wort St. John's wort, Hypericum officinalis, the herb St. John plow devil fairy grass, grass thousand virtues, poison thousand holes, grass burning, grass carpenter trascalan, trucheron

English names: balm of warrior , St John's wort , touch and deal , tipton's weed , rosin rose , Goatweed , chase-devil , Klamath weed

Botanical classification: Clusiaceae or Hypericaceae ( Clusiaceae or Hypericaceae )

The various forms and preparations: infusions, tinctures, liquid extracts, powders, nebulized, capsules, essential oils, standardized extracts, poultices, creams.

The medicinal properties of St. John's Wort


Astringent, antiseptic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, sedative, anxiolytic, antidepressant, antioxidant, antiviral.


Healing, antiseptic, analgesic , anti-inflammatory.


Treatment of mild depression, psychosomatic disorders, mild seasonal depression, anxiety, nervous restlessness. It improves sleep quality and helps fight against insomnia. The St. John's wort helps to reduce stress. Can be used to relieve obsessive compulsive disorder. Alleviates muscle pain such as cramps, neuralgia. Treatment of bruises, healing of wounds and burns of the first degree.


Reducing symptoms associated with menopause and premenstrual syndrome such as hot flashes, palpitations. Relieves toothache.

History of use in herbal medicine St John's Wort

Formerly, St. John's wort was known as a hunting-devil who drove away evil spirits, a plant used in white magic. There are nearly 2500 years, St. John's wort was already recommended to treat melancholy, but also to heal wounds, infections or burns . St. John's wort is named after its appearance, because, against the light, the leaves give the impression of being drilled thousands of holes.

Botanical description St John's wort

St. John's wort is a perennial herb, up to 90 cm (20 to 90 cm), who loves dry, sunny locations. The rod is of a reddish color, with opposed pairs ovate leaves. What looks like small holes, these are glandular organs containing the essential oil. The flowers are pentamerous (corolla of five petals), a bright yellow color. They give off a faint scent of incense. When a flower or the stem is crushed, a red substance flows. The fruit is a capsule which opens into three parts.

Composition of the wort


In herbal medicine , flower heads and young leaves are used.


Hypericin (substance in the flowers and buds that normalizes neurotransmitter involved in mood changes); hyperforin; tannins; essential oil; soft resin; phenolic acids; flavonoids; Xanthones (which acts as a sedative antidepressant).

In the leaves and stem: flavonoids, antioxidants, antispasmodics.

Use and dosage of hypericum


It is advisable to take St. John's wort preparations with meals to avoid stomach problems. For the treatment of depression, it takes between two and four weeks of treatment for the effects of hypericum are felt. It is important to seek the advice of a physician before beginning treatment.

  • In liquid extract: from 1 to 2 ml three times daily for neuralgia, painful hand injuries, burns first and second degree.

  • In standardized extract solid: 300 mg three times daily

  • In standardized extract liquid: 0.5 to 0.9 ml three times per day

  • Tincture: 3-6 ml. three times a day for sleep disorders or premenstrual syndromes. For mild depression, it can take up to 50 drops of mother of fresh plant tincture three times daily.

Preparations can be made at home:

  • Infusion: put 2 to 4 g of dried flowers in 150 ml of boiling water for 5-10 minutes. Drink three times a day to fight against sleep disorders.

  • St. John's Wort Oil: for massages and poultices to heal wounds and relieve burns, use part of dry plant for ten parts olive oil. Apply the mixture on the injured parties from one to three times a day. Massage with this oil to relieve cramps and neuralgia.

For children aged six to twelve, dosing should be halved.

Precautions St. John's Wort

Treatment with St. John's wort should not be stopped suddenly, it should gradually reduce the dose.


St. John's wort should not be used in people with bipolar disorder.

This plant is not recommended for pregnant women or those who are breastfeeding as well as children under 6 years. It is against inappropriate to get to the sun during treatment St. John's wort, hypericin as a photosensitizing effect. It is also against-indicated in people with fertility problems, an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, major depression; in people with schizophrenia or Alzheimer's disease .


St. John's wort has few side effects when used at recommended doses. However, it is possible that there is a more or less significant photosensitizing effect, mild gastrointestinal disturbances, feeling of fatigue, sleep disorders, some cases of allergy skin and dry mouth.


It is not recommended to consume St. John's wort along with ginkgo, valerian, hawthorn, the passionflower . St. John's wort should not, without medical advice, to be consumed with food supplements such as 5-HT or SAM-e.


St. John's wort should not be used together with an oral contraceptive. It is strongly advised with concomitant use of anticoagulants drugs K, cyclosporine, for treatment against HIV, digoxin, theophylline, carbamazepine, phenytoin, inhibitor antidepressants serotonin reuptake, antimigraine owned triptan family.

Medical advice


St. John's wort has a real beneficial effect on mild depression, mild anxiety or insomnia. It causes no addiction but interactions with many drugs. If you take a dose, do not take St. John's wort without consulting your doctor.


St. John's wort has high risk of interactions with other herbs, dietary supplements or drugs, so it is strongly recommended to consult a doctor before starting treatment with this plant.

Research on St. John's wort

There are a lot of current research on St. John's wort in Europe and North America, which aim to find an original and active molecule. This research focuses on all plant components.

An anti-depressant plant?

Against mild depression, take plants! This is what you will soon tell your doctor if you suffer from low mood. Indeed, the famous St. John's wort, a plant known for its anti-depressant properties, has received authorization to market while there was more formal. It becomes a recognized against the coup de blues treatment. Phytotherapy Will it replace the shrinks?

The wort is an herb that grows in temperate zones of all continents. For years, it is believed to anti-depressant qualities ...

Some green to see life in pink!

Anti-depression & nbsp plant ;? Many studies have attempted to verify the reputation of St. John's wort. Some 1, 2, 3 and have found a very high efficiency of this plant, sometimes affecting 67% of patients, against 28% in those receiving placebo. Other studies 4, 5 have found more mixed results, with little difference between the groups of patients receiving hypericum and those taking a placebo. Finally, several studies 6, 7, 8 compared the effects of St. John's wort and antidepressants in mild depression. And the results showed a similar efficacy often with fewer side effects for the treatment of herbal medicine! If the wort is nevertheless controversial, the authorization (AMM) is a recognition of his virtues by health authorities.

Only for mild depression

Attention St. John's wort does not cure all problems. His MA is accurate may be prescribed in the "mild and transient depressive symptoms." What exactly is behind these words? In fact, depression meets specific criteria defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-IV). Nine symptoms are described, at least five must have existed for two weeks, and one of the first two must be present:

1 - Depressed mood continued;
2 - Loss of interest or pleasure in activities,
3 - Disorders of appetite or weight change of less than 5% in the last month;
4 - Sleep disorders (insomnia or hypersomnia);
5 - Restlessness or a slowdown;
6 - Excessive fatigue;
7 - Feeling inappropriate guilt;
8 - Difficulty concentrating;
9 - The "black thoughts" (or even thoughts of death, suicide).
It is based on the number of criteria present beyond the five required and the impact on family life, social and professional, the degree of depression (mild, moderate or severe) is defined. According to data provided by Arkopharma laboratory, over 15% of the French population would be affected by mild and transient events. And women are twice as affected as men.

Beware of cons-indications

Even though it is herbal, St. John's Wort is the equivalent of a drug. So he has against-indications and precise dosage. Thus, it is only for adults. Furthermore, it should not be taken more than 15 consecutive days without medical advice.

Finally, we must add that interactions with other medications exist. That is why it is strictly against-indicated or not recommended to combine with:

Medications anti-vitamin K ;
The cyclosporine ;
The antiretroviral protease inhibitors ;
The non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase antiretroviral ;
The Digoxin
The theophylline ;
The carbamazepine ;
The phenytoin ;
The oral contraceptives ;
The inhibitor antidepressants serotonin reuptake :
The family migraine triptans .
In addition, some studies indicate a potential photosensitizing effect of St. John's wort: it would be better to avoid sunlight during treatment, which would also against the treatment of SAD ...

Not self-medicate!

If St. John's wort appears to be a good solution to treat moderate depression, we still lack of perspective on its long-term effects, including relapse prevention. Know that St. John's wort is already available over the counter in pharmacies (outstanding) in the form of capsules or tablets. But if you're using, avoid self-medication, and do you follow a doctor who will support you, so that your depression is a bad memory!

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asked Aug 12, 2014 by Lancomega Level (10,245 points)