The Benefits of St. John's Wort
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Over the past few years, the use of St. John's Wort has increased. St. John's Wort has been used for centuries to heal wounds and calm frayed nerves. Today, it is the most common item used in Europe to combat depression. Its use is even twice as much as the infamous Prozac drug. The leaves and flowers of the shrub-like plant are dried out and then used for medicinal purposes. Although research is still ongoing, it is known that the pigment within the herb, known as hypericin, provides a therapeutic effect in the body. What should a person know about St. John's Wort before using it?
There have been noted benefits of using St. John's Wort. When taken as advised, the herb elevates levels of serotonin. This chemical in the brain effects the emotions that a person experiences.
Studies have also shown that St. John's Wort aids a person in his or her battle against mild to moderate depression. The use of the product promotes sleep which benefits those suffering from fatigue and/or insomnia. It alleviates stress and signs of PMS in women. St. John's Wort also helps boost energy levels in the body.
St. John's Wort can be used in a variety of other ways. The product can fight harmful bacteria and viruses that try to penetrate the body via cuts, bruises and/or abrasions. It can also soothe inflamed and swollen areas of the body.
The recommended daily dosage of St. John's Wort is 900 mg for adults. Benefits of taking the product may not be immediately noticed. As with other supplements, St. John's Wort does take time to buildup in the body. Although there are no limits on the food and drink a person can consume while taking the product, a person should take St. John's Wort with a meal in order to limit any irritation to the stomach that may occur.
St. John's Wort is not without its side effects. Some studies have shown an increased sensitivity to light, restlessness and gastrointestinal irritations. Other known side effects can include dizziness, dry mouth and constipation. Research is still underway to determine the reaction of St. John's Wort when taken with other chemicals or medications. Preliminary studies have shown a possible negative effect if St. John's Wort is taken with treatments for cancer, AIDS or Parkinson's disease.
While most side effects have been minimal, it is still wise to use extreme caution when taking St. John's Wort and any other herbal remedy. Before beginning a regiment of anti-depression products, it is wise for a person to consult with his or her physician.