Over twenty million Americans suffer with depression. While there are many prescription medicines to help alleviate the problem, there are herbal alternatives, such as St. John’s Wort (Hypericum Perforatum). This plant is native to Europe but is also cultivated in the United States. It is a perennial plant with bright yellow flowers. It is native to Europe but is also cultivated in the United States.
Native Americans have used St. John’s Wort for hundreds of years for it’s medicinal benefits.
Because depression is such a problem in the U.S. and most parts of the world, people who don’t want to take prescription drugs due to the cost and possible side effects are turning to natural remedies such as these herbs.
St. John’s Wort works by naturally raising the brain’s serotonin levels. This is the chemical responsible for making us feel good. When the brain doesn’t have sufficient amounts of it, depression can be the result. The plant has been referred to as “Nature’s Prozac”. It is just as efficient as this prescription drug with none of the bad side effects.
While other herbs are good for this condition, St. John’s Wort is the most well known and one of the most heavily researched. The flowers of the plant are the part used in anti-depression studies.
The plant has undergone numerous clinical trials and research indicates that this herb may be used for those suffering from mild or moderate depression, but is not as effective for major depression.
One of the reasons for the popularity of this herb, besides it’s effectiveness is the fact that it doesn’t have too many negative side effects to taking it. There is one side effect but only for light sensitive individuals. For them, it should not be taken, as it causes increased sensitivity to sunlight.
St. John’s Wort can be obtained as a tea or extract. It can also be purchases in capsules.
If you are already on anti-depressant drugs or any prescription medicine, you should always take to your doctor before taking it. Most people experience benefits after taking St. John’s Wort for six weeks or more.
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