Report about one of our ingredients St. Johns Wort- Report from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services & The National Institute of Health & National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
St. John’s wort, a plant that grows in the wild, has been used for centuries for health purposes. St. John’s wort may help some types of depression, similar to treatment with standard prescription antidepressants, but the evidence is not definitive.
Additionally, The University of Maryland Medical Center Found the Following below about the ingredient St. John's Wort.
St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) has a history of use as a medicine dating back to ancient Greece, where it was used for a range of illnesses, including various nervous disorders. St. John's wort also has antibacterial, antioxidant, and antiviral properties. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it has been applied to the skin to help heal wounds and burns. St. John's wort is one of the most commonly purchased herbal products in the United States.
In recent years, St. John’s wort has been studied extensively as a treatment for depression. Most studies show that St. John's wort may help treat mild-to-moderate depression, and has fewer side effects than most other prescription antidepressants. But it interacts with a number of medications, so it should be taken only under the guidance of a health care provider.
There is good evidence that St. John's wort may reduce symptoms in people with mild-to-moderate, but not severe (or major) depression. In many studies it seems to work as well as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a popular type of antidepressant often prescribed to treat depression. SSRIs include fluoxetine (Prozac), citalopram (Celexa), and sertraline (Zoloft). In addition, St. John's wort doesn't seem to cause loss of sex drive, one of the most common side effects of antidepressants.
St. John's wort has also shown promise in treating the following conditions, a few of which are related to depression.
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS): Research suggests that St. John's wort may help relieve physical and emotional symptoms of PMS in some women, including cramps, irritability, food cravings, and breast tenderness. One study reported a 50% reduction in symptom severity.
- Menopause: There's some evidence to suggest that St. John's wort, combined with black cohosh, helps improve mood and anxiety during menopause.
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): Used alone, St. John's wort has improved mood in people with SAD, a type of depression that occurs during the winter months because of lack of sunlight. SAD is usually treated with light therapy. Research shows that using St. John's wort together with phototherapy works even better.
- Eczema, wounds, minor burns, hemorrhoids: St. John's wort has antibacterial properties and may also help fight inflammation. Applied topically (to the skin), it may relieve symptoms associated with minor wounds and skin irritation.
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), social phobia: One early open-label study found that taking St. John's wort 450 mg, 2 times a day for 12 weeks improved OCD symptoms. However, other studies show that St. John's wort doesn’t improve OCD.
St. John's wort is a shrubby plant with clusters of yellow flowers that have oval, elongated petals. Scientists believe it is native to Europe, parts of Asia and Africa, and the western United States. The plant gets its name because it is often in full bloom around June 24, the day traditionally celebrated as the birthday of John the Baptist. Both the flowers and leaves are used as medicine.
What's It Made Of?
The best-studied active components are hypericin and pseudohypericin, found in both the leaves and flowers. However, researchers are not sure whether these components are responsible for St. John's wort's healing properties. Scientists are studying St. John's wort's essential oils and flavonoids.