St. John’s Wort is found growing in temperate climates throughout the world. It is a weed that spreads rapidly. It was believed to have bloomed on the birthday of St. John the Baptist, June 24; hence the name St. John’s Wort.
St. John’s Wort is known for its use as a mild antidepressant. St. John’s Wort is also being studied for its possible affects on other mood disorders such obsessive-compulsive disorder. People taking St. John’s Wort have shown an improvement in their moods, and the ability to carry out their day to day activities. Used topically, it may have antiviral and antibacterial effects as well.
St. John’s Wort may be able to relieve temporary depression, and also makes it useful in treating chronic fatigue syndrome and the mood swings associated with menopause and PMS. St. John’s Wort is also considered a mild sedative. St. John’s Wort does not actually increase sleeping time, but may increase the time spent in deep sleep by helping to produce melatonin, a sleep-regulating hormone.
St. John’s Wort can be found in most health stores, drug stores, and pharmacies. The recommended dosage for St. John’s Wort extract, when taken for mild to moderate depression, is 500-1,000 mg per day. Results may be varied from individual to individual. You should consult with a health care professional to determine how long to use this supplement.
Pregnant women should avoid this product, and those who are photosensitive may experience an allergic reaction when exposed to sunlight. Some people may experience stomach upset, restlessness, mild allergic reactions or fatigue when using this herb. St. John’s Wort should not be taken by those who have chronic or clinical depression, and should never be used with prescription anti-depressants or any medication that interacts with MAO inhibitors. A physician should be consulted before taking this herb in combination with any other medications.
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