Extracts from St. John’s wort are considered a herbal alternative to synthetic antidepressants. To some extent they can be – but it depends on the dose. And that is not true everywhere. If you want to try St. John’s wort for relief in mildly depressive phases, it is better to buy herbal remedies available in pharmacies. These are sufficiently high doses and their effect is proven, reports Stiftung Warentest.
Genuine St. John’s wort has been known for centuries as a medicinal plant. While it was often used in the past to treat injuries, St. John’s wort is used today mainly for its mood-lifting effect. Mild to moderate depression and depressive moods are supposed to be alleviated by the medicinal plant, but not all preparations are equally effective – as a recent test shows.
According to Stiftung Warentest, on the other hand, over-the-counter products are composed differently and in lower doses. In their magazine “test” (issue 11/2020) 18 St. John’s wort preparations are compared.
Seven of the ten products that were available in pharmacies were also available without a prescription – they were suitable for use in mild depressive disorders. Three preparations are only available on prescription: they are then approved for the treatment of a mild to moderate depressive phase, according to the product testers.
Effect of St. John’s wort not always proven
With the eight freely for sale means, which there are in drugstores or reform houses, in addition, partly also in pharmacies to buy and which are to help for instance with nervous unrest, sleep disturbances and mental exhaustion, the effect is not sufficiently proven according to donation goods test.
The ten remedies assessed as “suitable” contained dry extracts – i.e. the active ingredients were extracted from St. John’s wort using a solvent. The active ingredients were thus significantly more concentrated than in the powders and juices that are freely available on the market. The daily dosage should be around 900 milligrams of dry extract; in the case of slight disgruntlement, 500 to 750 milligrams may be sufficient.
It can often take weeks before the effects of St. John’s wort kick in. If the low does not go away after one month, however, one should get medical help, the product testers advise. They also emphasize that St. John’s wort is not an option for severe depression – those affected should seek medical and psychological help. This is especially true when suicidal thoughts arise. (vb; source: dpa/tmn)
What one should definitely keep in mind are the strong interactions that St. John’s wort can trigger with other medications. In case of doubt, it is important to consult a physician before use. If women take the pill, they must expect that it will no longer work reliably due to the consumption of St. John’s wort.
St. John’s wort: Which preparations work for depression?
Further information can be found in the article: St. John’s wort – effect and application.
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