What can St. John's wort specifically do for you?
St. John's wort, a plant with noticeable yellow flowers, has been used in natural medicine for more than 2,000 years due to the vital substances it contains. Herbal books already existed in the Middle Ages, in which St. John's wort recipes were recommended against ailments such as mood swings, anxiety and restlessness. And still today, many people rely on the effect of St. John's wort, whereby the important ingredients of the herb are now available in convenient dosage forms such as capsules, dragées, tinctures, teas and drops. It is not without reason that St. John's wort was named the Medicinal Plant of the Year in 2015 as a herbal alternative to mood-enhancing agents. Not only do you use the flowers of this medicinal herb, but you also use the herb itself and its ripe fruits. Only the roots are not used in St. John's wort tablets and drops. These can be used to support depression and to alleviate mood swings. Important ingredients that are associated with the effect of St. John's wort are :
- Flavonoids and
- Essential oils
Hyperforin and hypericin in particular are substances that are supposed to ensure that St. John's wort can support depression and mood swings. Hypericin is also known as St. John's wort blood because it turns red when it is pulverized. The pigment is mainly found in the dried flowers of the plant and can be seen as small dark spots on them. A large proportion of hyperforin is found in the ripe fruits of St. John's wort. It is believed that these two substances play a role in the optimal regulation of messenger substances (hormones, especially neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine) in the central nervous system, which in turn have an impact on the mood and well-being. Because of this, it makes sense to buy St. John's wort if you want a herbal alternative to products that have mood-enhancing, calming, or antidepressant effects.
In addition to this, people with anxiety and panic attacks are often advised to buy St. John's wort to reduce these symptoms.
The St. John's wort application areas at a glance:
- Mood swings
- Depressive moods
- Inner restlessness
- Sleep disorders
- Lack of concentration
What side effects can arise from taking St. John's wort?
As far as the side effects of St. John's wort are concerned, it is often emphasized that these should be less than those of psycho-pharmaceutical drugs that have an antidepressant or anxiety-relieving effect. The latter are often associated with side effects such as tiredness, sexual aversion, or a certain amount of addiction. If you want to buy St. John's wort, you don't have to fear such side effects. With St. John's wort products, there are also no withdrawal symptoms if the intake is discontinued. The so-called hangover is also avoided. These are sometimes severe concentration and reaction disorders that can occur after taking antidepressants and which can make it dangerous while driving.
Manic episodes, e.g. temporary noticeable highs in mood, rarely occur when taking St. John's wort products. However, these are desired and even serve as proof of the St. John's wort effect. It is also possible that photosensitivity may arise. If so, you may notice changes in the skin, especially under the influence of UV. It is therefore generally recommended to avoid intensive sunbathing while taking St. John's wort. Also bear in mind that there may be interactions between St. John's wort preparations and other medications, for example when taking the birth control pills at the same time. Your doctor or pharmacist will provide you with detailed information about this.
For whom can it be useful to buy St. John's wort?
If you want more energy or inner peace and a balanced state of mind, you can buy St. John's wort and give the herbal remedy a try. Even people who have difficulties concentrating or who are prone to mild-moderate depressive moods can support their well-being with St. John's wort.
Many people buy St. John's wort when they are nervous, anxious, or have mood swings due to hormonal imbalances. The latter is an accompanying symptom of menopause (menopause), but can also be seasonal, especially due to a lack of sunlight in the winter months.
In studies, St. John's wort has been shown to be as effective as the frequently used light therapy in the treatment of autumn-winter depression.
Buying St. John's wort - What should you look out for?
If you want to buy St. John's wort to support your emotional balance, you should pay attention to the respective dose of the preparation. In order to benefit from the effects of the medicinal herb, a continuous intake in a sufficiently high dose is necessary.
The Commission E recommends an average daily dose of 2 to 4 g (effective plant parts) of St. John's wort or, alternatively, 0.2 to 1.0 mg of total hypericin, if it is a different administration form. Anyone suffering from moderate depression should take a higher dose of 900 mg total daily extract. For milder forms of depressive moods, 300 to 600 mg should be enough. Therefore, you should look for a high-dose preparation when you buy St. John's wort.
Products and dosage forms
St. John's wort is usually harvested during its flowering period, dried and processed into dry granules with the help of alcohols such as ethanol or methanol.
Standardized dry extracts are available as capsules, dragées and pills. Alternatively, there are also St. John's wort drops. These represent a good alternative for people who find it difficult to swallow capsules and pills. Choose the dosage form that you personally feel comfortable with.
Application and tolerance
Once you have decided on the dosage form of your choice, St. John's wort is relatively easy to use. Take the capsules and dragées with a glass of water, if possible in several single doses throughout the day. Tolerance can be improved by taking St. John's wort with or after your meals. Several single doses are said to be more effective than one single dose a day. If you are also taking medication at the same time, discuss the combination of both preparations with a doctor or pharmacist in advance.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not buy St. John's wort. St. John's wort is also not suitable for children and adolescents. People suffering from very severe depression should consult a doctor or psychologist before taking this.
Additives and allergens
Last but not least, it is worth choosing a preparation that does not contain any artificial additives such as colourings and preservatives, as well as any potential allergens.
Look for a good price-performance ratio when buying St. John's wort. Among other things, it depends on how many tablets, capsules, or dragées you receive for the specified amount. In this regard, it is also important how high the dose of the St. John's wort preparation is.
Buying a St. John's wort product with a satisfaction guarantee is ideal. This gives you the opportunity to test the preparation and, if you don't like it or if you don't tolerate it, you can return it without any problems.
Questions and answers about buying St. John's wortHow long do I have to take St. John's wort before it works?
St. John's wort only works if you take it on a regular basis for a longer period of time. At the same time, the dosage must be sufficiently high. Some people notice a positive effect of the St. John's wort preparation after just a week, while for others it takes a little bit longer to notice. However, St. John's wort should show an effect by no later than two to three weeks of regular use. Incidentally, it is more effective to take the total dose in several individual doses throughout the day.What are the side effects of St. John's wort?
In general, St. John's wort has little potential for side effects. The most common St. John's wort side effects include photosensitization and mania, but these are regarded as proof of its effectiveness. Side effects such as gastrointestinal complaints, sweating or headaches usually only occur if the maximum dose has been exceeded.
In addition to this, there may be interactions with other preparations. It is therefore important to get assurance from a pharmacist or doctor before taking several preparations at the same time.What happens if I take too much St. John's wort?
If you take a higher dose of St. John's wort than recommended by the manufacturer, you may experience various side effects, including dizziness, itching, indigestion, sensitivity to light, restlessness and fatigue. Basically, St. John's wort in the right dosage is considered a generally well-tolerated natural product.Does St. John's wort interact with other medication?
When taking St. John's wort, there may be interactions with other preparations. Certain enzymes in the liver can be stimulated by St. John's wort in such a way that medication is broken down more quickly. Medication that could interact with this are blood thinners, HIV drugs, anti-cancer drugs, birth control pills and cardiovascular medication.