Perhaps what makes St. John’s Wort so unique is that its health benefits have been tested and verified by the scientific community. It is also frequently prescribed by medical professionals.
The flowering plant grows wild throughout Europe and has spread to Russia, Asia, China, the Middle East and America. It is also frequently known as goatweed or rosin rose. Because it has so many uses, it is available widely throughout the world.
It is available in a number of forms, including raw, oil, tincture, and capsule. Each form serves its own uses.
The chemical ingredients include flavonoids and antioxidants, which have an impact on the chemical, physical and hormonal behavior of the body.
It is an incredibly powerful supplement, though, and has many complications and side effects so it is important to discuss it with your doctor before using it.
The most common side effects are nausea, dizziness, fatigue and confusion. While this only occurs in a small percentage of individuals, it can have a serious effect in patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Because of the intense hormonal reactions St John’s Wort causes, it can be dangerous to mix with medications. If you are currently taking medications or have these conditions, it is imperative that you speak to your doctor to find out whether you can take it.
According to WebMD, it is safe to use continuously for 12 weeks, but should not be taken in large doses orally.
Perhaps the most impressive benefit of St John’s Wort is its ability to improve mood swings, relieve anxiety, treat depression, ease addictive tendencies, prevent cancer, reduce pre-menstrual symptoms, protect against viral infections, regulate hormones, reduce inflammation and soothe the nervous system.
Its qualities as an anti-depressant is probably the most well known claim, and the extensive studies are noted in the 2nd edition of Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects.
WebMD has also stated its effectiveness in alleviating symptoms of depression. It has been used for generations to relieve depression symptoms and is frequently prescribed by both psychiatrists and doctors. St John’s Wort contains a rare combination of chemicals that delay the reuptake of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. This chases depressive symptoms away by giving the body additional pleasure and energy.
Additionally, it can be used to reduce symptoms of anxiety, as well as mood swings. It achieves this by regulating the body’s hormonal balance. It can also knock the internal clock back into line, which improves sleep patterns, thus relieving irritability and further worsening of depressive symptoms.
Furthermore, it reduces chronic stress hormones, which improves your overall health and wellbeing, as well as cognitive functions.
St John’s Wort also serves a purpose in relieving menopausal mood swings. In fact, it is recommended for women for this purpose, as well as to alleviate pre-menstrual syndrome. The chemical ingredients reduce mood swings and anxiety for women experiencing menopause, while reducing the depression, irritation and severity of cramping that comes with PMS.
When it comes to addiction and withdrawal the research is ongoing, however the early indicators are positive. It is particularly helpful in easing the cravings when quitting alcohol and cigarettes.
St John’s Wort has a soothing nature due to its makeup of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which makes it the ideal option for easing arthritis, gout, muscle paint, and joint aches.
It can ease inflammation on the skin, as well as in the gut.
As the most extensively studied herbal supplement, it is fair to say that St John’s Wort stands up to scrutiny, particularly the claims that it can alleviate symptoms of depression.
However, you must consult your doctor before stopping prescribed medications, or taking St John’s Wort in conjunction with them.