With the growing costs of health care, many individuals are exploring alternative ways to deal with their ailments. This is particularly the case when dealing with depression or anxiety. People are turning to alternative herbal remedies left and right. One herb in particular that people are exploring is a herb called St. John’s Wort.
St. John’s Wort, whose scientific name is Hypericum Perforatum is a yellow flowered plant that typically grows anywhere along the subtropical and temperate regions of the world from North America to China. These flowers were first used during the time of the ancient Greeks and its use continues today. It has been used for a variety of conditions from mental illnesses to nerve pain, however today this herb is most commonly used to treat depression in mild to moderate cases, anxiety, and sleep disorders. It is often prescribed for patients in Europe but no prescription is needed within the United States in order to use the herb.
There are many forms that this herb comes in ranging from tablets to liquid extracts. However, please keep in mind that you should always consult your doctor about any and all types of treatment options that you are considering. Alternative medicine involves proper care just as traditional medicine does.
How does St. John’s Wort work? Researchers are not exactly sure how St. John’s Wort works but it has two main compounds, hypericin and hyperforin, that research has indicated may act to prevent the re-absorption of serotonin back into the nerve cells of the brain. This is similar to how conventional anti-depressant drugs work as well.
So, what are the benefits of using St. John’s Wort? For one thing it helps to relieve symptoms associated with mild depression such as sadness, exhaustion, and hopelessness. All of these symptoms have been reported to improve with the administration of this herb. St. John’s Wort may be helpful at reducing insomnia as well. And, because it is said to have antibacterial and antiviral effects it may also be useful for treating minor burns when applied topically to the skin.
Of course, as with any type of medicinal treatment, whether traditional or alternative, there is always the risk of side effects. Herbs are no different. So it is important that if you are taking other medications that you let your doctor know that you are considering taking St. John’s Wort. Some of the side effects one can experience are restlessness, rash, dry mouth, headache, upset stomach and dizziness. St. John’s Wort may also interact with other conventional drugs reducing or enhancing their effects which is something your doctor needs to know.
In conclusion, St. John’s Wort is just as good if not better than some of the traditional medicines that are prescribed for mild cases of depression, anxiety and sleeplessness. So, you may want to consider St. John’s Wort as a possible natural alternative to traditional drugs. Just be sure to consult with your doctor and find the highest quality St. John’s Wort that you can and you will be on your way to better health.