Several social media posts suggest that St. John’s Wort is a kind of weed that helps treat depression. Even some posts assert that they are superior to anti-depressants. Our research revealed that the claim is Half True. There is some research evidence that supports the claim but it is not conclusive.
St. John’s Wort has been suggested as a potential herbal cure for depression in many forums and blogs. A number of social media posts like the YouTube video here even claims that it is more effective than anti-depressants. Several social media posts exhibit the same thought.
What is St John’s Wort?
St John’s Wort is a flowering plant that grows in the wild all across Europe. Because of its therapeutic properties, its extracts have been employed as a treatment for insomnia, anxiety and even minor to moderate depression. It has been used as a herbal medicine for mental health conditions. The herb is sold as a dietary supplement OTC product in the US.
Can St. John’s Wort cure depression?
Yes. Though for short term. At least 10 compounds found in it have been established to have biological effects in treating depression. Researches have shown that St. John’s Wort has a positive effect to mild to moderate depression. However, researchers warn that the effect of St. John’s Wort “isn’t consistently effective for depression.”
Are St. John’s Wort better than anti-depressants?
No. There is no research evidence that shows St. John’s Wort is superior to anti-depressant medicines. Rather a 2008 study done by reviewing 29 International researches about St. John’s Wort finds that the herb is “as effective as” different standard prescription antidepressants for major depression of mild to moderate severity.
It is important to note that, St. John’s Wort has been found to interact majorly with multiple pharmaceutical drugs and making them lesser effective. This includes, antidepressants, birth control pills, certain types of heart medications, HIV medications, etc.
In addition, the herb has been seen to enhance the feeling of anxiety and stress in certain individuals thereby making the condition of depression worse. While no major side effects have been noted by researchers about using herbal tea made of St. John’s Wort, medical professionals do not advice it to be taken along with medicines or replace traditional medication for depression with it.
THIP Media Take – Mental illness should be taken seriously and one must seek medical help. It is always advisable to get the advice of a clinical psychiatrist or General Physician before using any medicine.
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