St. John’s Wort herb tea contains hypericin that inhibits monoamine oxidase, a bodily chemical associated with depression. It appears that hypericin does not act alone.Like many herbal medicines, St. John’s Wort relies on the complex interplay of many constituents for its antidepressant actions. Patients suffering from depression received relief, increased appetite, more interest in life, greater self-esteem and restoration of normal sleeping patterns. St. John’s Wort is available as tea, tincture, decoction, oil, and in capsule form. Teas should be made with 1-2 cups of flowers per 1 cup of boiling water. This tea can be taken three times daily. The dosage of the tincture is 1/4 to 1 teaspoon up to three times daily.
Perhaps most notable regarding St. John’s Wort extract for depression has been favorable comparisons to standard prescription anti-depressive drugs. These include maprotiline hydrochloride and imipramine. In a multicenter trial, 135 patients with depression were given either St. John’s Wort (900 mg/day) or imipramine (75 mg/day) for six weeks. Therapeutic success was determined using the HAMD, Clinical Global Impression (CGI), and Depression Scale according to Zerssen. HAMD score improved by 56% in the St. John’s Wort group versus 45% for the imipramine group. Differences on the CGI and Zerssen scales were slightly better for St. John’s Wort although not significantly different. Adverse reactions were reported in 16% of patients taking imipramine while only 12% of those taking St. John’s Wort experienced side effects.
Historically it has been used for treating various mental disorders and physical ailments. Current research suggests that St. John’s Wort is useful in treating mild to moderate depression. The usefulness of St. John’s Wort as a primary treatment for anxiety has not been established. A 2005 study of the effectiveness of St. John’s Wort in treating social anxiety disorder (SAD) found that patients who took the medicine didn’t improve any more than patients who took a placebo. If you have been diagnosed with SAD, you should consult with your healthcare professional about effective primary treatment methods, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
St. John’s Wort is reported to relieve anxiety and tension and to act as an antidepressant. It was once thought that hypericin interfered with the body’s production of a depression-related chemical called monoamine oxidase (MAO), but recent research has shed doubt on this claim. Research now is focusing on other constituents, such as hyperforin and flavonoids. Studies have shown St. John’s Wort extracts may exert their antidepressant actions by inhibiting the reuptake of the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. The required dosage is three grams of powder per day, but it must be taken for weeks — and sometimes several months — before results are noted.
St. John’s Wort is useful for pelvic pain and cramping. According to the 1983 British Pharmacopoeia, St. John’s Wort is specifically indicated for “menopausal neuroses”: Many women who experience anxiety, depression, and other emotional disturbances during menopause may benefit from this herb’s use.