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Health benefits St. John's wort :Health benefits /Interactions/Safety and side effects


St. John's wort

St. John's wort is a flowering shrub that is native to Europe. It gets its name from the fact that it often blooms on the birthday of John the Baptist, the biblical figure.

The flowers and leaves of St. John's wort contain ingredients that are active, such as hyperforin. St. John's wort can be found in tablets, liquids, and topical preparations.

People use St. John's wort to treat depression and other symptoms related to menopause.

St. John's wort


Studies have been conducted on the use of St. John's wort for specific conditions show that:

  • Depression. Several studies have found that St. John's wort is beneficial for treating mild to moderate depression, and some research has shown that it is as effective as several prescription antidepressants. It is not yet known if St. John's wort is helpful in the treatment of severe depression. St. John's wort might cause depression if it is taken along with certain medications. It is not a good choice for people who take prescription drugs.
  • Menopausal symptoms.Some people believe that taking St. John's wort, black cohosh, or other herbs might help reduce symptoms caused by menopause.
  • Somatic symptom disorder.Some studies suggest that St. John's wort might be helpful for the treatment of this condition which causes severe anxiety about physical symptoms, such as pain, weakness, or shortness of breath.

Our take


St. John's wort can be helpful in treating mild to moderate depression. However, taking the supplement can interact with many medications and can cause serious side effects. Consult with your doctor before taking St. John's wort if you are currently taking any other medications.

Safety and side effects

St. John's wort is generally considered safe when taken orally for up to 12 weeks in appropriate doses. However, it may cause some side effects.

  • Agitation and anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • These three things can happen when someone has diarrhea: they might have constipation, or they might feel stomach discomfort.
  • Dry mouth

Other side effects may include:

  • Fatigue and insomnia
  • Headache
  • People who are photosensitive are more sensitive to sunlight.

There isn't enough information about the safety of using St. John's wort topically.

Don't use St. John's wort while you are pregnant or while breastfeeding.


Some interactions are known. However, other drugs may also interact with St. John's wort. Talk to your doctor before using it in combination with any other drugs, especially prescription medications.

  • Alprazolam (Xanax).Taking St. John's wort with this drug might lessen the effectiveness of the drug intended to relieve anxiety symptoms.
  • Antidepressants.Taking St. John's wort with antidepressants might increase the risk of serotonin levels becoming too high. This could cause mild to severe side effects. Taking this supplement and an antidepressant need to be done under a doctor's supervision.
  • Barbiturates.Taking St. John's wort with a drug that reduces brain activity (a barbiturate) might decrease the time spent sleeping after taking the barbiturate.
  • Bupropion (Wellbutrin SR, Forfivo XL).Trying St. John's wort with this antidepressant might lessen the drug's effect.
  • Certain chemotherapy drugs.Taking St. John's wort with irinotecan (Camptosar Onivyde) docetaxel (Taxotere) or imatinib (Gleevec) might lessen the chemotherapy drug's effects.
  • Certain immunosuppressive drugs.Taking St. John's wort with tacrolimus (Prograf Astagraf XL, Sandimmune) or cyclosporine (Neoral Sandimmune) might lessen the drug's effect.
  • Certain statins.Taking St. John's wort with simvastatin (Zocor Flolipid) might reduce the effectiveness of the drug.
  • Contraceptive drugs.Using St. John's wort with contraceptive drugs might lead to breakthrough bleeding, irregular bleeding, or an unplanned pregnancy. An additional form of birth control might be necessary.
  • Some of the enzymes that are responsible for metabolizing certain drugs are CYP1A2, CYP2B6, CYP2C19, and CYP2C9.Don't take St. John's wort if you're taking a drug that is affected by these enzymes.
  • Dextromethorphan.Taking St. John's wort with this medication might increase the risk of serotonin levels in your body accumulating high.
  • Digoxin (Lanoxin).Taking St. John's wort with this heart medication can lessen the drug's effect.
  • Fexofenadine (Allegra Allergy).Taking St. John's wort with this antihistamine might cause the usual side effects to worsen.
  • Ketamine (Ketalar).Taking St. John's wort (a herb) with ketamine (an anesthetic) might reduce the drug's numbing effect.
  • Narcotics.Don't take St. John's wort with methadone (Methadose). Taking the supplement with certain narcotics might lessen the drug's effectiveness. Mixing the supplement with narcotics might also increase narcotic-induced sleepiness and painkilling effects.
  • These drugs are used to treat HIV.Taking St. John's wort with one of these anti-HIV drugs could lessen the drug's effect.
  • Omeprazole (Prilosec).Don't take this drug to treat persistent heartburn while taking St. John's wort. The supplement can reduce the effectiveness of the drug.
  • Phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek).Taking St. John's wort with this anticonvulsant might decrease seizure control.
  • Photosensitizing drugs make the skin more sensitive to sunlight.Taking St. John's wort with a drug that makes you more sensitive to sunlight might increase the risk of a reaction.
  • Protease inhibitors.Taking St. John's wort with this type of antiviral drug can reduce the effectiveness of the drug.
  • Triptans.Don't take St. John's wort while taking medications to treat migraines. The supplement might increase the risk of serotonin levels in your body becoming too high. This can result in mild to severe side effects.
  • Voriconazole.Taking St. John's wort with this antifungal drug might reduce the effectiveness of the drug.
  • Warfarin (Jantoven).Taking St. John's wort with this drug may decrease the effectiveness of the drug.
Health benefits St. John

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