Overview

St. John's wort is a plant with yellow, star-shaped flowers.

St. John's wort might cause serious interactions with some medications. Because of this, France has banned the use of St. John's wort in products. In other countries St. John's wort is only available with a prescription.

St. John's wort is most commonly used for depression and mood disorders. There is some strong scientific evidence that it is effective for mild to moderate depression. St. John's wort is also used for symptoms of menopause and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

How does it work ?

For a long time, scientists thought a chemical in St. John's wort called hypericin was responsible for its effects on improving mood. More recent information suggests other chemicals like hyperforin may play a larger role. These chemicals act on messengers in the nervous system that regulate mood.

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© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.