Depression Home > St. John's Wort Extract Info

St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) is commonly used in the treatment of depression and other health problems. This naturally occurring substance is thought to treat symptoms of depression and other conditions by increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain. Interestingly, this is also how certain prescription antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors work.
 
However, more research is necessary to definitively confirm the effectiveness of this herbal supplement for depression or any other use.
 
Although St. John's wort is a natural product, side effects are possible and may include diarrhea, insomnia, and nausea. In addition, you may be more likely than others to experience problems with St. John's wort if you have any of the following conditions:
 
If you have any of these conditions, make sure your healthcare provider has this information before you start taking St. John's wort extract.
 
(For more info, click St. John's Wort. This article provides a more in-depth discussion, explaining what to expect while taking this extract, other safety issues to discuss with your healthcare provider, and more.)
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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