St. John’s Wort is a commonly used over the counter herbal remedy. It is most often used for depression but has other beneficial properties as well. It is vital to understand a bit more about this herb before starting on a daily regimen.
The name of this herb comes from the English language. St. John was used because the herb bloomed around June 24 each year; this was the day on which St. John the Baptist’s birthday was celebrated. Wort was the Old English word for plant.
This plant is a perennial with yellow blooms. Although it is mostly known as a natural remedy, it is known as a noxious weed in some areas of the world. St. John’s Wort has the tendency to spread quickly and overtake other plant growth. If left to grow unheeded, it can quickly take over much farm and pastureland. Animals feeding on it may develop nervous system depression, spontaneous abortion and even death. It mostly grows in temperate and subtropical areas in parts of Asia and North America.
This herb can be purchased in dried, liquid and capsule forms. The dried blossoms are used for teas. Liquids provide a diluted concentration of the herb. They also compose the essential oils and creams. However, capsules are by far the most common form and can be found at most drug, grocery or online stores that sell other homeopathic remedies. St. John’s Wort is usually standardized into an extract called hypericin or hyperforin.
This herb is most often used to treat depression and has properties similar to some prescription drug formulations for antidepressants. Other psychological symptoms that have improved with this medication are anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. It has also been used for centuries on skin disorders or for nerve pain. Researchers continue to study the possibilities of its use for halting the progress of AIDS as well as for treating a number of other psychosomatic disorders.
St Johns Wort Side Effects are few, but worth noting…
St Johns Wort side effects are generally mild but have been found to affect some individuals profoundly. One of the most common problems is stomach upset. This could include nausea, diarrhea or other common gastrointestinal problems.
Certain psychological symptoms can occur in some people. Examples include restlessness, agitation and dizziness. The individual should consult his physician if any of these St Johns Wort side effects occur or worsen.
This herb usually make an individual’s skin and eyes extremely sensitive to the light. This can result in sunburn, rashes or visual changes. One should be especially careful to apply sunscreen over his entire face and body and to wear sunglasses whenever he is outside.
As with any other kind of over the counter supplement, one should check with his doctor before starting new medications or natural remedies. Physicians should also be made aware of other natural supplements that the patient is on since many of them can interact with prescription medications. The individual should also notify his physician immediately if he notices any potential side effects from his supplements or medications.