Can St. John’s Wort Be Used For The Treatment Of Depression?


Hypericum perforatum, commonly known as St. John’s Wort, is an herbal remedy that has become increasingly popular in the United States over the past couple of years to treat depression. In Europe it is licensed to treat anxiety, depression and sleep disorders, and is widely used particularly in Germany. Herbal remedies like this one are regarded as a form of alternate medicine.


Why Use St. John’s Wort To Treat Depression?

This wild, yellow flower with five petals grows in various parts of the world. Because this flower blooms around June 24, the feast day of St. John the Baptist, it is named after him. In ancient times, people believed that this herbal remedy had the power to ward off evil spirits.

Today, St. John’s Wort is most commonly used for treating depression. Some people also believe that it is therapeutic in a variety of immunological and neurological disorders. At this time, even medical experts only partially understand the mechanism of action of this herbal remedy, which is apparently similar to that of prescription medications referred to as serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft are some of the antidepressants in this class of drugs.


What Does Research Say About St. John’s Wort As A Remedy For Depression?

Effectiveness as an antidepressant has been demonstrated by this herbal remedy in some clinical trials when compared to doses of different types of antidepressants or a placebo (sugar pill). The efficacy of this herb has been tested in dozens of published research studies throughout the world. Although it can be effective for mild depression, it is not effective for moderate or severe depression. Also mild depression can proceed to more severe depression, which should be treated with clinically tested medications.

In early 2005, an article published in the British Medical Journal demonstrated the effectiveness of St. John’s Wort in a large clinical trial. This herbal remedy was demonstrated to be at least as effective as antidepressants that are commonly prescribed and it has fewer side effects when it comes to treating moderate to severe major depression. A 2008 research study determined that there is a strong overall body of research evidence that demonstrates how effective St. John’s Wort is to treat depression.

29 trials were reviewed in the study which together included more than 5,400 patients suffering from symptoms of major depression. The severity of depression was assessed by employing the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression in all trials. In trials in which St. John’s Wort was compared to other remedies, the plant extracts were not only regarded as equally effective, but fewer patients abandoned the trials because of adverse effects.


What Dose Of St. John’s Wort Is Recommended For Depression?

Treating depression with St. John’s wortThe ideal dose of this herb to treat depression is still under consideration. Nonetheless, standard recommended doses have been based on the doses that were used in clinical trials in which the herb demonstrated some effectiveness in mild depression.

Whether as an alternative or natural treatment for depression, St. John’s Wort is being used by millions of people who are suffering from mild depression. However, because it can interfere with other medications, please be sure to tell your doctor about your using St John’s Wort.


If you have any questions about how we can help you treat your depression please give us a call

(855) 978-0808





Subscribe To Our Blog

Subscribe To Our Blog

Since 2012, Neuro-Luminance has been shedding light on new and innovative treatments for depression, autism, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Our ketamine clinic has provided care to over 400 patients and has an 85% response rate.

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and research on the treatment of depression. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!