St. John’s Wort Natural Mood Enhancement Success Stories

Saturday, February 19, 2022

     Prescription antidepressants can cause many side effects that can take time to adjust to or are entirely intolerable. This has caused some folks with milder depression to seek out natural supplements with purported mood-stabilizing benefits that could potentially replace medication altogether.

     While this is a tempting promise, studies are still being done to prove whether or not St. John’s Wort or other herbal supplements should be considered a primary form of treatment for any mental health condition.

St. John’s Wort Natural Mood Enhancement Success Stories
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What is St. John’s Wort?

     Hypericum Perforatum, also known as St. John’s Wort, is a wild yellow flower found throughout the United States that has been used for its medicinal properties for centuries. The flower, or technically weed, was named after St. John the Baptist because it blooms every ear around the celebration of his feast.

     It can be found in liquid, pill, and tea form, and several studies suggest that it can be effective in treating milder forms of depression compared to a placebo. Research is still being done to determine whether it can be helpful to people with moderate to severe depression.

Reported Benefits

     As aforementioned, the primary reported benefit of St. John’s Wort is that it can reduce symptoms of depression more than a placebo and produce effects similar to a prescription antidepressant. Many studies, including a 2017 analysis of 27 studies, found that while most of the participants taking antidepressants stopped taking them at some point, the majority of those taking St. John’s Wort did not. This means that participants likely experienced fewer adverse side effects with the natural supplement.

     Another lesser-known benefit of St. John’s Wort is its antiviral properties, which can help with burns, cuts, and sores when applied as a topical solution.

     However, licensed naturopathic physician Jeremy Wolf warns that St. John’s Wort may take weeks or months to cause a noticeable change in mood. It is by no means a quick cure.

Things You Should Watch Out For

     As with any supplement, you should not venture out on your own to find replacements for medical help to treat your depression. If you feel like St. John’s Wort could be beneficial to you, please consult your physician first as this supplement can have many dangerous interactions with other drugs, such as:
  • Antidepressants - by increasing levels of serotonin to a hazardous level, risking serotonin syndrome
  • Birth Control
  • Cyclosporine
  • HIV drugs
  • Cancer medication
  • Blood thinners
  • Digoxin

     Supplements are also not examined for safety or approved by the FDA. Proceed with caution if you are pregnant or breastfeeding as well.

     Herbal supplements can be great complements to your mental health treatment, but choose safety first, and get approval from your doctor before you write your very own St. John’s Wort success stories.

Does Research Show Promise?

     According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, reports for the effectiveness of St. John’s Wort are mixed.

     For example, they note a 2008 review of 29 international studies that demonstrate that the herb may be as effective as a standard prescription antidepressant in treating major depressive disorder. In Germany, the studies reported more positive results than any other country, but this may have been because medical professionals have used St. John’s Wort for many years, which is in contract to the US, which does not have a long-standing history of use with using it in their medical practice.

     In 2002, however, a study funded by the NCCIH found that it was no better than a placebo at treating moderate major depressive disorder.

     In summation, there’s still a lot to be learned from this fascinating little plant, but it certainly shows promise for the world of natural supplements at large.

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