Wednesday, October 7, 2015

St. Johns’ Wort (Hypericum) and depression

Hypericum is a genus of about 450 species of trees, shrubs and herbs that occurs on all temperate parts of the world.

Hypericum or St. Johns’ Wort is the most widely used herbal antidepressant in the world. It is an effective treatment of mild to moderate depressed mood.

In Western Europe and the United States, St. John’s wort is the most widely used natural product to treat depressed mood.

Extracts from St. Johns’ Wort appear to exert an antidepressant action via weak inhibition of the enzymes monoamine oxidase, as well as a number of other effects on the central nervous system.

Use of St. Johns’ Wort dates back to the Middle Ages, when it was used to treat insanity resulting from ‘attack of the devil’.

It was named St. John’s in reference to St, John’s Day on the medieval church calendar because it blooms near that day.

It was found that its action was due to the substance named hypericin. St. Johns’ Wort is tolerated well by patients and has a very low incidence of adverse effects when taken properly.

St. Johns’ Wort extract was more effective than placebo in treating mild to moderate depression and patients taking the extract had no more negative side effects, than those people taking placebo.
St. Johns’ Wort (Hypericum) and depression 

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