ST. JOHN’S WORT for Depression

St. John’s Wort is a powerful herb that has flowers and leaves that are used in medicines, a tea, and a vitamin supplement. St. John’s Wort is native to Europe but is commonly found in the US and Canada in dry ground areas of meadows, woods and unattended gardens as it was considered a weed when first discovered.  It is now mainly grown in Australia.  St. John’s Wort dates back to the ancient Greeks.

St. John’s Wort extract is thought to improve a person’s mood and decreases anxiety and insomnia that is related to depression.  It seems to be about as effective in treating depression as many prescription drugs.  Clinical guidelines from the American College of Physicians suggest that St. John’s Wort can be considered an option along with antidepressent medications for short term treatment of mild depression.  St John’s Wort is uaually taken in supplement form as a pill, but is becoming more widely used as a tea.  St. John’s Wort tea acts in a similar way in the body to other prescriptions, but naturally and without as many potential side effects.  It is now becoming widely available in tea bag form and used as an afternoon tea.

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