Benefits of St. John's Wort
How Does St. John's Wort Work?
St. John's wort can work in several different ways, as it contains many different active compounds. In some ways, it works similarly to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants. This means that the supplement may prevent nerve cells from reabsorbing serotonin (a naturally occurring neurotransmitter in the brain).
By preventing reabsorption, St. John's wort increases the amount of serotonin that is available and active in the brain. This may help relieve some of the symptoms of depression.
St. John's wort may also affect other naturally occurring chemicals in the body. It is not entirely clear how these potential benefits contribute to the properties of St. John's wort.
St. John's Wort Use in ChildrenIt is not known if St. John's wort is safe for use in children, although some studies have demonstrated that the supplement is probably safe. Children may be more sensitive to the effects and toxicities of medications and supplements, including St. John's wort. Therefore, check with your child's healthcare provider before giving your child this herbal supplement for any purpose.