Depression,Wound healing, Swelling (inflammation) of the liver, Nerve damage in the hands and feet, Cold sores (herpes labialis), Genital herpes, Bruises, Cancer, Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), Excitability, Extreme tiredness (chronic fatigue syndrome), Hardening of skin and connective tissue (scleroderma), Muscle pain, Nerve pain, Pain in the lower back or hip that radiates to the leg (sciatica), Skin conditions, Stomach upset, Weight loss.
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St. John's wort is a plant with yellow, star-shaped flowers and five petals that grows in Europe, North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, and Eastern Asia. The plant grows in sunny, well-drained areas. It grows to be 50-100 cm tall.
St. John's wort might cause serious interactions with some medications. Because of this, France has banned the use of St. John's wort in products. In other countries St. John's wort is only available with a prescription.
St. John's wort is most commonly used for "the blues" or depression and symptoms that sometimes go along with mood such as nervousness, tiredness, poor appetite, and trouble sleeping. There is some strong scientific evidence that it is effective for mild to moderate depression.
An oil can be made from St. John's wort. Some people apply this oil to their skin to treat wounds. Applying St. John's wort directly to the skin might be risky. It may cause serious sensitivity to sunlight.
How does it work?
For a long time, scientists thought a chemical in St. John's wort called hypericin was responsible for its effects on improving mood. More recent information suggests other chemicals like hyperforin may play a larger role. These chemicals act on messengers in the nervous system that regulate mood.
Possible side effects include:
- It can cause some side effects such as trouble sleeping, vivid dreams, difficulty sitting still, nervousness, irritability, stomach upset, tiredness, dry mouth, dizziness, headache, skin rash, diarrhea, and skin tingling.
- St. John's wort is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in large doses. When taken by mouth in large doses, it might cause severe skin reactions to sun exposure. Women may be at risk of severe skin reactions even at usual doses of St. John's wort. Wear sun block outside, especially if you are light-skinned.
- St. John's wort interacts with many drugs (see the section below). Let your healthcare provider know if you want to take St. John's wort. Your healthcare provider will want to review your medications to see if there could be any problems.
- When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information available to know if St. John's wort is safe when it is applied to the skin. St. John's wort might cause severe skin reactions to sun exposure.
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: St. John's wort is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth during pregnancy. There is some evidence that it can cause birth defects in unborn rats. No one yet knows whether it has the same effect in unborn humans. Nursing infants of mothers who take St. John's wort can experience colic, drowsiness, and fussiness. Until more is known, do not use St. John's wort if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- Children: St. John's work is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth for up to 8 weeks in children 6-17 years-old.
- Alzheimer's disease: There is concern that St. John's wort might contribute to dementia in people with Alzheimer's disease.
- Anesthesia: Use of anesthesia in people who have used St. John's wort for 6 months may lead to serious heart complications during surgery. Stop using St. John's wort at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
- Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): There is some concern that St. John's wort might worsen symptoms of ADHD, especially in people taking the medication methylphenidate for ADHD. Until more is known, don't use St. John's wort if you are taking methylphenidate.
- Bipolar disorder: People with bipolar disorder cycle between depression and mania, a state marked by excessive physical activity and impulsive behavior. St. John's wort can bring on mania in these individuals and can also speed up the cycling between depression and mania.
- Depression: In people with major depression, St. John's wort might bring on mania, a state marked by excessive physical activity and impulsive behavior.
- Infertility: There are some concerns that St. John's wort might interfere with conceiving a child. If you are trying to conceive, don't use St. John's wort, especially if you have known fertility problems.
- Schizophrenia: St. John's wort might bring on psychosis in some people with schizophrenia.
- Surgery: St. John's wort might affect serotonin levels in the brain and as a result interfere with surgical procedures. Stop using St. John's wort at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.
As always make sure you are using organic herbs as pesticides are toxic and always take normal doses, excessive amounts of anything is not good for you.
We are not doctors, lawyers, accountants or your mom. We give out free smiles and the occasional unsolicited advice. That being said; if you are pregnant, nursing or concerned about your health, call your mom. Or even better, consult a doctors before consuming; particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.