St. John’s Wort is a shrubby plant with clusters of yellow flowers. Traditionally, St. John’s Wort was used to treat infectious diseases such as colds, syphilis and tuberculosis. Today, it is regarded as an effective anti-depressant, specifically indicated in the treatment of anxiety, depression, insomnia and restlessness.
Relieves the Symptoms of Depression
St John’s Wort has been shown to reduce symptoms of mild to moderate depression and other mood problems including anxiety, apathy and feelings of worthlessness. Ideally, the brain operates with a healthy balance of chemical messengers such as serotonin and norepinephrine. An insufficiency or lack of balance of these chemicals can result in depression.
In the body, St. John’s Wort works by increasing the levels of norepinephrine and serotonin. New research suggests that St John’s Wort extracts exert their antidepressant actions by inhibiting the reuptake of the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. St John’s Wort makes more of these neurotransmitters available to the brain.
The active ingredient in St John’s Wort, hypericin, also appears to interfere with the activity of a chemical in the body known as monoamine oxidase (MAO). This makes it an MAO inhibitor, which is an important class of antidepressant drugs.
In many clinical studies, St John’s Wort was shown to be an effective treatment for people suffering from mild to moderate depression. Their symptoms such as tiredness and fatigue were also relieved.
St John’s Wort was shown in various studies to improve conditions such as disturbed sleep and insomnia.
As a mood enhancer.
For the relief of symptoms associated with depression, which include:
In general, patients taking St. John’s Wort appeared to suffer fewer side- effects than those taking antidepressant drugs. St John’s Wort is well tolerated, though occasional cases of mild nausea, stomach upset and tiredness have been reported.
In recommended doses, St John’s Wort causes little, if any photosensitization, EXCEPT in fair-skinned people, who are generally more sensitive to sunlight. Fair-skinned individuals or those with psoriasis or vitiligo should avoid exposure to strong sunlight while taking St John’s Wort.
Those using St John’s Wort should also be cautious about possible interactions with certain categories of drugs, such as:
- Mood-elevating drugs
- Narcotics and prescription drugs that include:
- Cyclosporine (an immunosuppressant given to organ transplant recipients)
- Digoxin (a treatment for heart disease)
- Theophylline (a bronchodilator used for asthma and other respiratory illnesses)
- Tolbutamide (used in the treatment of diabetes)
- Warfarin (a blood thinner) and
- Indinavir (a protease inhibitor used in the treatment of HIV)
Not recommended for pregnant and nursing mothers, and children below 2 years old.
||For adult consumption only: Take 1 capsule 3 times daily preferably with meals, or as directed by your healthcare professional.
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