St. John's Wort: Benefits, Properties?


St. John's Wort: Benefits, Properties?
The St. John's wort, also known as St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a plant with yellow flowers that has been used for centuries to combat depression and anxiety. This fact sheet aims to answer some of the frequently asked questions on hypericum and depression and summarize the scientific evidence of its properties.

key Points

The most recent studies suggest that St. John's wort is of minimal help in the treatment of major depression. A study funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) has shown that St. John's wort was no more effective than a placebo in treating major depression of moderate severity or. They are rather different experimental evidence of its effectiveness in mild forms of depression.

The St. John's wort interacts with some drugs, and these interactions can limit the effectiveness of both substances.

The St. John's wort is not a certain treatment for depression. If depression is not adequately treated, it can become severe and, in some cases, can lead to suicide.

It 'very important to always evaluate with your doctor the use of this herbal remedy.

About St. John's Wort

St. John's Wort has its roots in Greece relating to medicinal uses.; the plant contains numerous chemical compounds and the active ingredients are most relevant hypericin and hyperforin.

How these compounds actually agiscan is not yet fully understood, but several theories have been proposed over the years. The St. John's Wort has been used over the centuries to treat mental conditions, neuropathic pain and a variety of other diseases. Today, St. John's Wort is used for anxiety, depression, mild to moderate and sleep disorders.

In Europe, St. John's wort is widely used for depression, while in the U.S. there is more of a significant public interest is not supported by medical prescriptions.


Depression is a medical condition that affects nearly 21 million American adults each year, mood, thoughts, physical health, and behavior can manifest the signs and symptoms of depression include fact:

Persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, or "empty" feelings
Feelings of hopelessness and / or pessimism
Feelings of guilt, feelings of devaluation
Restlessness or irritability
Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that the person once appreciated
Fatigue and decreased energy
Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and / or to take decisions
Insomnia, early morning awakening, or excessive sleeping
Too appetite or loss of appetite
Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
Persistent pains, headaches, cramps, digestive problems difficult to treat.
Depression comes in different forms and its symptoms and its severity can vary from person to person. For example:

In the great depression (also called major depressive disorder) symptoms interfere with a person's ability to work, study, sleep, eat, and take pleasure in activities once enjoyed. The symptoms last for at least 2 weeks, but often continue for several months or longer.

In dysthymia (also called dysthymic disorder), a less severe but more chronic form of depression, the symptoms of people are not as debilitating, but prevent them from doing well or feeling good. Symptoms last at least 2 years. Many people with dysthymia also have episodes of severe depression.

In bipolar disorder (also called manic-depressive illness), people have periods of depressive symptoms that alternate or may co-exist with periods of mania. Symptoms of mania include elevated and abnormal levels of excitement and energy, and that impulsive and inappropriate behavior.

Finally, the milder forms of depression fall into the category of minor depression. In minor depression people experience the same symptoms of major depression, but are less extended in time and less disabling. The symptoms last for a long period at least 6 months, but less than 2 continuous years.

Depression can be treated effectively with conventional medicine therapists, psychologists and medications, including antidepressants, and some types of psychotherapy.

The science and St. John's wort for depression

The scientific evidence on the effectiveness of St John's for depression are inconsistent. An analysis of the results of 37 clinical trials concluded that St. John's wort may have beneficial effects only minimally for major depression. However, the analysis also found that St. John's wort can bring substantial benefits for people suffering from minor depression; these benefits may be similar to those of standard antidepressants. Overall, finally, the St. John's wort appears to have fewer side effects than some classical antidepressants.

Side effects and risks

The most common side effects of St John's include dry mouth, dizziness, diarrhea, nausea, increased sensitivity to sunlight, and fatigue.

Research has shown that St. John's wort may limit the effectiveness of some medications, including:

Birth Control Pill
Cyclosporine, a drug that helps prevent organ transplant rejection
Digoxin, a drug used to strengthen the contractions of the heart muscle
Indinavir and other drugs used to control HIV infection
Irinotecan and other anticancer drugs
Warfarin and related anticoagulants medicines
When combined with certain antidepressants, St. John's wort can also see increase side effects such as nausea, anxiety, headache, and confusion.

Some evidence suggests that it can reduce fertility in both men (by reducing the number and motility of sperm) and in women; data are still lacking for some, it is recommended to refrain from using when searching for pregnancy.

A greater reason to avoid the use during pregnancy and lactation.

herbal supplements

The strength and quality of herbal medicines are often unpredictable, because the products may differ in terms of content not only from brand to brand, but from game to game. The label information may be inaccurate or misleading.
In addition, "natural" does not necessarily mean "safe." Many natural substances can have harmful effects, especially if taken in large quantities or if they interact with other supplements or medicinal products subject to medical prescription.

Source: NCCAM

Scientific review and correction by Dr. Guido Distemper (pharmacist)
The information contained in this article should in no way replace the doctor-patient relationship; on the contrary, it is recommended to seek the advice of your doctor before starting any practical advice or indication given.

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asked Jul 4, 2014 by Lancomega Level (10,245 points)