Health Benefits Of St. John's Wort

St. John's wort, a popular supplement, has been subjected to many clinical studies. The restults of some are discussed here.

Many people are turning to natural herbal treatments for all types of ailments and diseases. Some illnesses respond well to the herbal treatments, whereas others do not. Depression is a serious condition that affects millions of people, men and women alike, no matter what race or color. It can start early in childhood and last throughout life. There are many treatments for depression, but most of the medications have harmful and addictive side effects. St. John's wort is an herb that some claim can help with those suffering from depression. It's not a new treatment by any means. St. John's wort has been used as a treatment for nerve problems and mental disorders for centuries. As far back as ancient times, doctors of the day wrote about the healing powers of St. John's wort as a sedative, malaria treatment, and as a topical ointment for burns and insect bites.

The dangers of depression are many. Those who suffer experience sadness, uncontrollable crying, loss of interest in former pleasures, changes in weight and appetite, lack of sleep or sleeping too much, agitation, loss of energy and even thoughts of suicide. For some people, the disease is crippling, preventing them from leading a normal life with their families. Depression is a real medical disease and the sufferer can't simply convince himself to get better or feel okay.

Patients who are on medications for depression often complain that not only does the depression not go away, but now they are experiencing headaches, nausea, worsening sleep issues and nervousness. Many people are turning to a more natural remedy, namely, St. John's wort. Since it's available without a prescription, it's even easier to try this particular type of therapy. Never just stop taking medication for depression. Talk to your doctor since some medications require the patient to wean off of them rather than stop taking the medicine abruptly.

St. John's wort is available in a tea form, capsules or extract and appears to help those with mild to moderate depression. Although studies have shown that there is some significant reduction of depression in patients who tried it, it has not been successful in treating those with major depression.

St. John's wort has been proven to react poorly with certain medications such as chemotherapy, drugs used to treat HIV patients, and some other prescriptions. Some people experience a negative reaction to the herb, including dizziness, stomach upset and vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue and sensitivity to sunlight.

Herbal supplements, like St. John's wort, are not under strict guidelines from the FDA concerning testing and safety. Because of this, herbal supplements can be sold without studies on dosages, safety or even effectiveness. Depending upon where you purchase St. John's wort, the strength can be unpredictable and the quality poor. Still, St. John's wort is much cheaper than many prescription medications and has much fewer side effects.

New studies are currently being conducted to decide if St. John's wort can be used to treat a variety of mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety and mood swings. Talk to your doctor before switching from prescription to herbal supplements.

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