If you surf the web or read your local newspaper, you've probably seen something about herbal supplements, such as St. John’s wort, and their role in treating depression. Although dozens of people swear by it, St. John's wort is still considered an alternative therapy by many experts.
Depending on the preparation, St. John’s wort can be taken in any of the following ways: 300 mg three times a day for up to six weeks; 250 mg twice a day for six weeks; 300 to 600 mg three times a day for six weeks; 350 mg three times a day for eight weeks; 300 to 600 mg three times a day for up to 26 weeks; 400 mg twice a day for six weeks.
What should I watch out for if I use St. John's wort? Increased sensitivity to the sun, especially if you are fair-skinned and taking large doses Increase in blood pressure Do not take St. John's wort during pregnancy or while you are breastfeeding.
Taking St. John’s wort with antidepressants can cause a dangerous increase in levels of serotonin, a hormone that affects mood. This condition is known as serotonin syndrome. Always tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking St. John's wort or any other herbal product. St. John’s wort should not be used in place of standard antidepressants.
John's wort is well established as a remedy for mild to moderate depression. Since depression can lead to weight gain, and since medications with actions similar to that of St. John's wort have been used for weight loss, some people have proposed that St. John's wort can be useful for weight loss.
Add the dried St. John's wort to a tea infuser and place in a cup. Pour 150 ml (approximately 5 ounces) of boiling water over it and let steep for 10 minutes. Remove the tea infuser (with the tea), sweeten to taste with honey, and serve.