St. John's Wort
St. John's Wort, or St. Johnswort, is a herbal preparation made from the leaves and flowers of this shrub-like plant. The active components are hypericin and pseudohypericin.
This herb is used to treat depression, anxiety, insomnia, hyperinsomnia (excessive sleep), wounds, and hemorrhoids.
Sources of St. John’s Wort
St. John's Wort is available in the following forms: teas, capsules, liquids, and lotions (oil-based). For maximum benefit, purchase standardized products (containing 0.3% hypericin).
Guidelines and Cautions
Always follow package directions.
- Depression is a serious condition. Do not self-treat depression. Seek the advice of a medical professional.
- Potential side effects include constipation, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, hives, fatigue, headaches and problems sleeping.
- Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use St. John's Wort.
- St. John’s Wort may increase sensitivity to sunlight.
Do not take St. John's Wort if taking any of the following medications:
- MAO inhibitor (monoamine oxidase) (eg, isocarboxazid, phenelzine, selegiline)
- SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) (eg, fluoxetine, sertraline hydrochloride)
- Other anti-depressant medication, L-dopa, or 5-hydroxytrytohan.
St. John’s Wort may interact with and/or reduce the effectiveness of some drugs:
- Oral contraceptives (birth control pills)
- Irinotecan; a chemotherapy drug
- Warfarin; a blood thinning medication
- Digitalis; a heart medication
Disclaimer: Many people report feeling improvement in their condition and/or general well-being taking dietary, vitamin, mineral, and/or herbal supplements. The Editorial Board of SpineUniverse.com, however, cannot endorse such products since most lack peer-reviewed scientific validation of their claims. In most cases an appropriate diet and a "multiple vitamin" will provide the necessary dietary supplements for most individuals. Prior to taking additional dietary, vitamin, mineral, and/or herbal supplements it is recommended that patients consult with their personal physician to discuss their specific supplement requirements.