St. John’s Wort for Depression and More
St. John’s Wort is a type of herbal remedy that comes from the flowering plant known as Hypericum perforatum. It has been used successfully to treat mild depression and other ailments for hundreds of years. As far as herbal mood enhancers go,St. John’s Wort is the go-to choice for many natural health enthusiasts. Other health benefits of St. John’s Wort include treatment of PMS, menopause, and more!
Using St. John’s Wort for Depression
St. John’s Wort has been shown to improve the symptoms of mild depression by boosting natural serotonin levels in the brain. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine cautions that this natural herb should not be used in conjunction with prescription anti-depressants as it could cause an unsafe rise in serotonin levels.
Used alone, however, St. John’s Wort can be very effective. It can be taken in supplement form or in tea. Using St. John’s Wort tea may be beneficial to try the herb at first to see how it will affect you. This is because teas come in a more diluted dosage that’s easier to control than supplements.
Regular use of St. John’s Wort can elevate mood, ease anxiety, and improve sleep. When taking St. John’s Wort daily, you should notice positive results within a couple of weeks.
Other Health Benefits of St. John’s Wort
- Provides Pain Relief
Chronic pain sufferers may find relief from the use of St. John’s Wort as it boosts serotonin levels. It is believed that low serotonin levels are a common contributor to chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Ease PMS Symptoms
The irritability and cramping associated with PMS can also be relieved by St. John’s Wort. This natural herb has been shown to work as effectively as over-the-counter menstrual pain relievers.
- Relieves Menopause Symptoms
Women going through the change of life may find relief from their irritability, mood swings, and depression by adding St. John’s Wort to their supplement regimen.
- Treats Chronic Skin Problems
Used topically, St. John’s Wort can provide inflammation relief when used to treat eczema, psoriasis, and minor burns.
- Eases Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoidal inflammation can also be successfully treated by St. John’s Wort when used topically. Alternatively, you can use St. John’s Wort tea to alleviate the pain of hemmorrhoidal flare-ups. Simply boil water for a cup of tea and steep as usual. Allow to cool for a few minutes before placing on inflamed tissues. Leave on affected area for 5-10 minutes or until dry and remove.
- Provides Smoking Cessation Relief
Smokers may benefit from the use of St. John’s Wort during their attempt to quit smoking. St. John’s Wort may make quitting smoking easier by reducing cravings and cutting down on feelings of anxiety and irritability.
- Possesses Antiviral Properties
Another health benefit of St. John’s Wort is its ability to prevent viruses from combining with the healthy cells in your body. This can cut down on illness during cold and flu season.
- May Treat Hypothyroidism
St. John’s Wort has also been shown to effectively treat the hormone disorder, hypothyroidism and may eliminate the need for thyroid medication.
St. John’s Wort Side Effects
As with any natural herb, it’s important to understand that there are side effects associated with it. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use St. John’s Wort without first consulting their physician.St. John’s Wort has been known to cause psychosis in some individuals. It may also increase your sensitivity to light. Never use St. John’s Wort with prescription anti-depressants as this could cause a fatal drug interaction. This natural herb also reacts badly with birth control pills, sedatives, HIV medication, migraine medication, blood thinners, antifungals, and other prescription drugs. If you are taking any type of prescription medication, do not use St. John’sWort without talking with your doctor or pharmacist.
When using this herb for a thyroid condition, consult your doctor first before stopping your medication.
St. John’s Wort has been effective in treating mood and anxiety problems ranging from mild depression to obsessive compulsive disorder. It can also be used topically to relieve skin inflammation and cut down on the appearance of scars. If you’re looking for a natural solution to treat your depression, try St. John’s Wort. It’s one of the most tried-and-true herbal mood enhancers on the market!
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