ST. JOHN'S WORT: Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, Dosage, Warnings?
St. John's Wort is a plant whose therapeutic properties have been extensively studied. Traditionally used in topical applications against superficial burns, St. John's wort is now best known for its use in the treatment of depressive states transient, mild to moderate. This usage is confirmed by numerous clinical studies.
Origin and uses of St. John's wort
St. John's Wort
St. John's Wort ( Hypericum perforatum , also known as "herb of St. John") is a common plant slopes and meadows. Its name comes from the fact that, seen against the light, the leaves seem pierced with many small holes. In herbal medicine , its yellow flower heads that are harvested in early summer is used. Traditionally, fresh flowers were macerated in vegetable oil. Today, most products containing St. John's wort extracts from which the active substance is standardized.
St. John's wort is used in local applications to relieve minor burns, irritations and skin wounds or insect bites . Taken by way oral products containing St. John's wort are intended to treat transient depression .
Other traditional uses of St. John's Wort
St. John's wort oil is also available in local applications to relieve muscle pain, irritation of the mouth and red buttocks of infants , and by way oral to help digestive problems.
How St. John's wort is it?
The action of St. John's wort appears to be related to naphtodianthrones, such as hypericin and pseudohypericin, and to phloroglucinols as hyperforin. It was long thought that hypericin was the active substance against depressive states. However, recent studies suggest that antidepressant effects of hypericum are more related to the concentration of hyperforin .
The mechanism of action of St. John's wort on the mood remains unknown. Researchers have abandoned the assumption that, as some older antidepressants now abandoned, it inhibits the action of monoamine oxidase (MAO), an enzyme involved in the biochemistry of the brain. They look today for an action complex of several substances in St. John's wort.
The action of hypericum on minor skin problems may be linked to the effect antiseptic of napthodianthrones.
How effective for St. John's wort?
The St. John's wort on depressive symptoms was confirmed by more than thirty-controlled studies with placebo , involving more than 4,000 patients. The results of these studies have shown that extracts of St. John's wort was as effective as drugs for depression (antidepressants conventional synthesis) in the case of mild to moderate depression. By against St. John's wort appears insufficiently effective to permanently relieve moderate to severe depression. In these studies, the duration of treatment was for four to eight weeks. It was therefore temporary depressive episodes and not of depression lasting.
The results of these clinical studies have been convincing enough that the health authorities in several countries, including France, agreed to recognize as drug products containing St. John's wort in treating depression transient, mild to moderate. St. John's Wort is the only plant whose use is recognized in this indication. The local use of hypericum oil rests solely on tradition.
The Views of health authorities
The World Health Organization recognizes as "clinically established" by the St. John's wort way in the oral treatment " for mild to moderate depression . " It recognizes as "traditional" local St. John's wort to treat "cuts, irritations, minor burns and viral infections of the skin. "
Commission E ...
Commission E of the German Ministry of Health recognizes the use of St. John's wort by way oral in "psychosomatic disorders, mood depression, the anxiety and nervousness, as well as digestive problems (as an oil). " It also recognizes the topical oil wort to treat "light burns, muscle pain and help the healing of wounds . "
European scientific cooperation in herbal medicine recognizes the use of St. John's Wort way to relieve oral "mild to moderate depression."
The National Institutes of Health American consider "based on strong scientific evidence," the St. John's wort by way oral "to treat mild to moderate depression with similar efficacy to other antidepressants," and as "based on good scientific evidence, "the use of St. John's Wort way in the oral treatment of "psychosomatic".
How to use St. John's wort?
Dosage forms and St. John's Wort
For application to the skin can be prepared wort oil at home by packing flower heads in a glass bottle, then covering the flowers of vegetable oil (for example, sweet almond oil or olive oil). The flask was exposed to sunlight for four weeks, and then filtered.
For use by way oral , preparations guaranteed content of active substances have supplanted infusions of dried plant (Arkogélules Wort, Hypericum Elusanes, Mildac, Procalmil). The antidepressant effects of hypericum are felt after two to four weeks of treatment.
If depressive symptoms, it is best to consult your doctor before taking St. John's wort. If no effect is apparent after six weeks, it is best to stop the treatment and consult the doctor again. Please note, as with all antidepressants, it is recommended to stop taking St. John's wort gradually reducing the daily dose.
Warnings against St. John's Wort
The St. John's wort is not recommended for people who suffer from bipolar disorder ( manic depression ), because of the possibility of occurrence of manic attacks. Some people are allergic to the wort.
Side effects and overdose of hypericum
The side effects of hypericum are limited: digestive disorders mild, dry mouth , headache. Reactions photosensitivity were observed, especially in people with fair skin exposure even moderate UV triggers redness of the skin, itching , appearance of small buttons, etc. Generally, people who use products containing St. John's wort (in local applications or by way oral) should avoid exposure to sunlight or sunlamps.
St. John's wort interactions with other substances
St. John's wort interacts with a large number of drugs and plants , which greatly limits the use more than 70 substances or groups of substances have been identified as interacting with the wort! This is due to the inhibition by hyperforin, an enzyme responsible for the liver removal of many substances.
Among the drugs whose action or toxicity is altered by St. John's wort include: most drugs heart disease , the oral contraceptives (the pill), the antidepressants , most drugs against HIV / AIDS , the drugs migraine family of triptans , oral anticoagulants (blood thinners), the antiepileptic , some lipid-lowering ( drugs high cholesterol ), some cancer chemotherapy, drugs for autoimmune diseases and organ transplants some anti-inflammatory and pain medications, iron supplements, etc.
St. John's wort may also interact with plants (the ginkgo , the valerian , the hawthorn , the passion , etc.) and substances in some dietary supplements such as 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HT) or S adenosylmethionine (SAM-e).
A rule applies : if you take a drug of any kind, or plant, or dietary supplement, always ask your doctor or pharmacist before taking any product containing St. John's wort.
St. John's wort, pregnancy and lactation
The World Health Organization and the NIH advise against St. John's wort during pregnancy and in nursing mothers. According to the Reference Center on teratogenic agents (ARCT), the use of St. John's wort in lactating women "may be considered" except for those taking oral contraceptives (birth control pills, whose efficacy is reduced by St John's wort).
St. John's wort in children
European scientific cooperation in herbal medicine St. John's wort does not recommend for children under six; it recommends a dosage equal to half of that of an adult in those six to twelve. Studies on the effectiveness of St. John's wort against hyperactivity and attention disorders in children have not yielded convincing results.
The expert's opinion on St. John's wort
In France, medicines containing St. John's wort are available without prescription. Given the high risk of interactions with other substances, it is legitimate to ask whether this is a good thing. For this reason, the province of Quebec is currently considering imposing a prescription for a product containing St. John's wort. With or without a prescription, the use of St. John's wort should always be done under medical supervision.
Solar plant par excellence, St. John's wort treats mild to moderate depression with fewer side effects than antidepressant drugs. While having comparable efficacy. The point with Franck Dubus, trainer herbs, founder of Drhumana.
Overcoming Depression with St. John's wort natural
St. John's wort: it treats the reaction lows
Number of depressions associated with a traumatic event (death, breakup, job loss, etc.) are due to a deficiency in serotonin (a neurotransmitter). By stimulating its production, St. John's wort overcomes this deficiency and improve the symptoms associated with it: lack of energy, sleep disturbance , anxiety, agitated states, vulnerability to stress . "It also increases the levels of dopamine, linked to pleasure and desire, says Franck Dubus, such as norepinephrine, linked to attention, to enlightenment. "
Take into alcohol-solids because their dosage is standardized (0.2% hypericin minimum for a dose of 600-900 mg), enabling better medical care.
St. John's wort also repels seasonal get down
St. John's wort also has an effect on melatonin, a hormone linked to mood, and whose levels drop due to lack of sun exposure. "When combined with its action on serotonin, St. John's wort is placed at the forefront of the most effective herbs to fight against this evil seasonal," says Franck Dubus.
See also: three new natural ways to relieve stress
St. John's wort: it reduces mood disorders
If it has no direct hormonal impact, St. John's wort acts on the symptoms associated with hormonal changes. Thus, it is recommended to ease anxiety or depressive disorders of menopause and mood swings and nervousness of premenstrual syndrome . In solids or tincture.
St. John's wort as calm functional disorders
St. John's wort improves disease triggered by stress, such as irritable bowel . "It also gives interesting results on restless leg syndrome , says our expert, this neurological disorder that causes an uncontrollable urge to move the legs. "To take an infusion or tincture.
See also: Anxiety: 3 natural solutions to remain calm
St. John's wort: it can help stop antidepressants
Having a similar action to antidepressants that modify serotonin levels (lead: Prozac), but with fewer side effects, it is often recommended to wean these drugs. "The tricky part is the moment of transition from one treatment to another, Dubus says Franck. Both acting on serotonin, one must be careful not to release too much in the nervous system, which could cause stomach ache, tremors. "It is better to seek help from a doctor, who will handle the different strengths of solids.
St. John's Wort protects and soothes nerves
Since ancient times, the plant is known to heal the nerves. "Whether they were weakened by oxidative stress or a lack of oxygen to the vascular level (stroke, aging), explains Franck Dubus, where their path is painful ( pain from sciatica , trigeminal nerve), St. John's wort provides significant results. "To prefer herbal tea because it is sufficiently effective and reduces the risk of photosensitivity reaction (the sun).
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St. John's wort: what precautions?
It was not until 2002 that St. John's Wort drugs got a AAM (permission marketing). Germany, she uses it a lot. Our neighbor, in which herbal medicine is a professional coached, has indeed legalized its use since 1984.
What are the precautions?
. Do not sunbathe St. John's wort is photosensitizer, the external application (oil) is risky. When taken internally, it is recommended that people with fair skin do not sunbathe .
Beware of drug interactions activates enzymes wort in the liver that will decrease rates of certain drugs and thus their efficiency.
Careful with treatments for heart , AIDS, anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen), birth control pills . Conversely, do not stop taking St. John's wort without taking medical advice because it exposes them to its side effects.
Side effects are rare but possible: mild digestive disorders, skin allergies, fatigue, headache , dry mouth.
Note that St. John's wort can heal wounds and burns . Used externally as macerate - maceration in oil - the wort is healing, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. This oil heal burns and sunburn . However station to avoid exposure time of treatment.
To make your anti-irritant oil :
- Cut the flowering tops of St. John's wort into sections, fill a jar with 2/3, loosely. Cover with organic olive oil.
- Expose the jar three weeks in the sun. Filter, then fill this small oil sealed to keep for up to 1 year vials.