St. John's Wort: Depression & Anxiety
Nature's Proven Antidepressant
Long before pharmaceutical companies were selling chemically-derived drugs, Mother Nature has been providing plants and herbs to help treat the symptoms of depression and anxiety. From these plants and their rich history of folklore use, pharmaceutical companies and university researchers have studied and isolated the individual compounds that make the antidepressant and antianxiety drugs effective.
Throughout the centuries, herbalists have noted which plants and herbs improved the moods of those ingesting or taking it as a medicine. One such noted plant is St. John's Wort. Only recently have scientists started to study St. John's Wort and its effect on depression and anxiety. To date, a tremendous amount of research has been conducted showing that St. John's Wort does, in fact, improve mood and relieve depression. More recent research has shown that a particular compound in St. John's Wort, hyperforin, may be responsible for much of its antidepressant effect.
Due to the history and wide acceptance of St. John Wort's use in the general European populace, scientists there have been performing studies decades earlier than their U.S. counterparts. Scientists still aren't sure today what exactly makes St. John's Wort effective. However, they believe that the hyperforin in St. John's Wort is a natural reuptake inhibitor of serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and GABA reuptake, thereby increasing levels of these mood-related neurotransmitters in the brain. Since St. John's Wort provides a natural herbal alternative to prescription antidepressants and antianxiety medications with less of the associated side effects.