PRIMARY USES: Depression, Anxiety, Pain, Injuries, Muscle pain, Car accidents, Herpes
St. John’s Wort is indicated for mild to moderate depression. It is safe and can be used long term; it typically can take from 2-4 weeks and even up to 1 -3 months for the full benefits to be felt. Its action similar to monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors or a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) medication. It inhibits serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline reuptake and increases the neurotransmitter serotonin, which helps transmit a neurological response that makes one feel good. St. John’s Wort is a psychotropic herb but is not really a tranquillizer. If St. John’s Wort matches the biochemical reason for the depression, it will work. Otherwise, it will not produce an antidepressant effect and other botanicals or medications should be tried. In addition, it lightens mood gently, but is not indicated for severe depression. It combines well with Kava to create a more euphoric state and elevated mood.
At least 23 studies consistently show St. John’s Wort is as effective as Prozac, but with less side effects. St. John’s Wort has also been shown to be more effective than placebo. If one is on prescription antidepressants and has balanced their mood for a period of time and now wants to get off such medication, St John’s Wort is an option. It is safe if taken with other anti-depressants, contrary to popular notions. Since its effect comes on slowly over time, the goal for those on prescription antidepressants would be to add St. John’s Wort to ones medication routine and take 2-3 times per day. Slowly over time (2-3 months) and only under the advisement and control of a physician, reduce the prescription medication slowly every 1 -2 weeks and as long as one maintains balanced mood, continue this pattern until one gets fully off the medication and fully on St. John’s Wort.
It has a long history of being used for muscle and neurological pain including fibromyalgia, bursitis, injuries, and athletic injury. It combines well with Skullcap and Valerian for such pain. It also calms down nerve endings to help prevent herpes (cold sores, genital, shingles) from erupting when under stress. It has also been shown to be antiviral (herpes simplex 1 and influenza). Moreover, it can be used in pregnancy to prevent genital eruptions that results in C-sections.
It also has a long history for healing soft tissue from burns. Use orally and topically in oil form for soft tissue healing.
CONTRA-INDICATIONS AND CAUTIONS:
May potentiate pharmaceutical MAO-inhibitors. Check with ones doctor to see if St. John’s Wort is appropriate if they are on medications or if severely depressed. Photo or light sensitivity has been reported in cows that over graze on this plant and very rarely seen in light skinned individuals who take excessive doses. Hepatocyte treatment with St. John’s Wort resulted in an increase of the cytochrome P450 or CYP3A4 expression. Since this compound is involved in the metabolism of 50% of all drugs, it is suspected that St. John’s Wort may elevate the breakdown of many pharmaceuticals, including birth control pills, Digoxin, the protease inhibitor Indinavir and the anti-seizure drug Tegretol. In reality, it has never been seen or documented that this process occurs and that one has been harmed by concurrent use of St John’s Wort and those medications.
COMPLIMENTARY FORMULAS & SINGLE H ERBS:
St. John’s Tonic (depression formula)
Anxiet-Ease (if anxious, stressed)
DOSAGE: 20-60 drops, 2-3 times per day or as needed in juice or water. If on anti-depressant drugs and one wants to get off the drugs, one typically takes St. John’s Wort with their medication for a couple weeks and then begins a slow withdrawal from the medication and onto St. John’s Wort alone.