St. John’s Wort has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments. The herb is known for its antidepressant properties, and it has been used to treat mild to moderate depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders.
Historical use of St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort has a long history of use as a medicinal herb. Its name comes from the fact that it blooms around the feast day of St. John the Baptist, which falls on June 24th. The herb was used by the ancient Greeks as a remedy for various ailments, including nervous disorders and burns.
In medieval times, St. John’s Wort was used to treat a variety of ailments, including depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders. The herb was also used to treat wounds and skin conditions, as it was believed to have antiseptic properties.
Modern uses of St. John’s Wort
Today, St. John’s Wort is commonly used as a natural remedy for depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders. The herb is believed to work by increasing the levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine in the brain, which are all neurotransmitters that play a role in mood regulation.
St. John’s Wort has been found to be as effective as some prescription antidepressants in treating mild to moderate depression. It is also believed to have fewer side effects than prescription medications.
In addition to its antidepressant properties, St. John’s Wort has been found to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antioxidant properties. It has been used to treat a range of other health issues, including menstrual cramps, irritable bowel syndrome, and nerve pain.
Precautions for use with other medications
While St. John’s Wort is generally considered safe, it can interact with other medications, including prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs. Here are some precautions when using St. John’s Wort:
- Antidepressants: St. John’s Wort should not be taken with prescription antidepressants, as it can interact with the medication and cause a dangerous increase in serotonin levels.
- Birth control pills: St. John’s Wort can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills. Women who are taking birth control pills should use a backup method of contraception if they are also taking St. John’s Wort.
- Blood thinners: St. John’s Wort can interfere with the effectiveness of blood thinners, such as warfarin. People who are taking blood thinners should avoid taking St. John’s Wort.
- HIV medications: St. John’s Wort can interfere with the effectiveness of some HIV medications, making them less effective. People who are taking HIV medications should avoid taking St. John’s Wort.
- Other medications: St. John’s Wort can interact with a variety of other medications, including some pain relievers, sedatives, and antidepressants. It is important to talk to a healthcare provider before taking St. John’s Wort if you are taking any other medications
*Always check with your naturopath before starting a new herbal medicine