If you’re looking for the best St John’s Wort supplements to buy this year, then you’ve come to the right place.
You can also get more info by jumping to our St John’s Wort Supplements Guide.
Top 10 St John’s Wort Supplements
|#1||Nature’s Way St. John’s Wort||More Info|
|#2||Solaray St. John’s Wort One Daily||More Info|
|#3||Now Foods St. John’s Wort||More Info|
|#4||Gaia Herbs St. John’s Wort||More Info|
|#5||Nutrigold St. John’s Wort Gold||More Info|
|#6||New Chapter St. John’s Force||More Info|
|#7||Solaray Organic St. John’s Wort||More Info|
|#8||Pure Mountain Botanicals St. John’s Wort||More Info|
|#9||Solgar St. John’s Wort||More Info|
|#10||Oregon’s Wild Harvest St. John’s Wort||More Info|
The stories about St. John’s Wort date back to the first century, when a naturalist named Pliny the Elder recommended its use for snake bites. Since the plant releases a red oil that resembles blood when it is squeezed too hard, it was thought to be a plant blessed by God.
Early folks thought that the oil only poured out of it on the anniversary of the day that St. John the Baptist from the Bible was beheaded, which is the 29th of August. But the timing was actually just close to the date that the plant happens to reach full maturity each year.
Christians held onto the plant while saying a rhyme to keep pagans and witches away. Strangely enough, pagans of the time used the plant for protection too. The legends have nothing to do with the continued use of St. John’s Wort though.
It has remarkable health properties that have been studied by doctors in countries all over the world. And now, it is so popular that it is sold inexpensively in an over-the-counter form in many health food stores. But before anyone takes a supplement containing this product, they should read the following information about it.
What is St. John’s Wort?
St. John’s Wort is a member of the rose of Sharon plant family. Its scientific name is Hypericum perforatum. At full maturity, it only reaches about 24 inches in height. Lovely flowers adorn the perennial, which is often considered a weed in some regions because it spreads so easily. It isn’t picky about its soil requirements.
Anything from full sun to just a few hours of light a day will do. But it can’t tolerate an abundance of water. There has to be good drainage for it to flourish. The leaves and flowers on it contain the most important medicinal benefits.
Benefits of St. John’s Wort
Although it has been used for over 2,000 years for treating various medical issues, it wasn’t until 1988 that the most important discoveries were made concerning St. John’s Wort. Researchers found out that it helps boost problems in the immune system well enough to possibly be able to treat AIDS and HIV patients. The testing of the plant increased at that point because they wanted to see what else it could do. And that was when they found more of its other benefits.
St. John’s Wort can help heal up all types of wounds on the skin when it is applied as a poultice. That is because of its antibacterial and antiviral properties. Both dried or fresh plants work for this purpose. And in a pinch, a person can open up a capsule of the product to use as well. It has to be a capsule made from the leaves and flowers to be effective though, not an extract.
The main reason that most people take this herbal remedy is its profound ability to ease depression though. Studies done have shown that it works as well as many prescription antidepressants, but it doesn’t have all of the dangerous side effects like they do. It also aids in relieving the symptoms of social anxiety, tension, and irritability. Most doctors in Europe give patients struggling with mild forms of mental illness this herb as a first line of treatment before anything stronger is tried. It is thought to work for this purpose because it acts as an inhibitor of monoamine oxidase.
Are There Any Side Effects?
This is one of the safest herbal remedies available. It has very few side effects, and none of them are considered serious enough to make a person stop taking it. However, it is important to mention a few of them that can happen, so those who take St. John’s Wort know what to expect from it.
This herb increases the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight, which can make a person get a sunburn more easily. Because of this, doctors recommend that those who take it avoid spending too much time outdoors without wearing sunscreen and protective clothing. Sunglasses are also advisable because the eyes become more sensitive to light too.
Sometimes, people experience changes to their vision after they take this herb for more than six months. It becomes harder to focus the eyes on one object at a time. This can be problematic when someone is driving or trying to read. If this symptom should occur, it is best to stop taking the herb until an eye doctor can verify if there are any other problems that could be causing the issue besides the herb.
St. John’s Wort is a natural blood thinner. Some people take it as a safe alternative to prescription medications given to them for this purpose. Usually, this side effect poses no problems in a person. However, if someone is having surgery done, they should stop taking it for at least two weeks ahead of time. And it shouldn’t be resumed until after the surgical site has healed. People who take any prescription blood thinners shouldn’t use this herb at the same time. It could cause uncontrollable bleeding.
Those who have high blood pressure, or an irregular heart rhythm, may want to avoid this herb because it could make their condition worse. It can also induce heart palpitations that could lead to a blood clot. Anyone with a history of blood clots or strokes caused by them should ask their doctor if it is safe for them to take it.
AIDS patients must be especially careful with adding this herb into their medicine regimen because it could interfere with the cocktail of drugs that they are given. Most doctors recommend that AIDS patients interested in it participate in a local study regarding its effectiveness. That way, they can be monitored in a safe environment the entire time in case any health issues arise from using it.
How to Take St. John’s Wort
This herb works best if it is taken in smaller increments throughout the day. Most supplements offer it in about 200 milligram dosages, which should be taken every five hours. People who want to use it for worsening depression can take up to 2,000 milligrams of it a day. But this should only be done under the careful watch of a doctor though.
This herb increases the amount of serotonin in the body, and a person could develop a life threatening condition called serotonin syndrome if they take too much of it. It should also be mentioned that this herb should never be mixed with any other prescription medications, especially those for psychiatric conditions or heart problems.
People who take immune system lowering drugs should also avoid it because it increases the immune system response in the body. So if a person has an autoimmune disease, they could experience a worsening of their condition.
What to Look for in a Good St. John’s Wort Supplement
Those who are interested in taking a supplement containing this herb should be careful to look for one that guarantees the freshness of the product. Like most herbs, St. John’s Wort doesn’t work as well when it has been sitting on a shelf for a long time. It will lose its potency after it is several months old.
And the supplement should be made from only the leaves and flowers. If a company is adding stems or roots in, it is probably just to add bulk to the supplement. These plant parts don’t work as well though.
Any St. John’s Wort supplements that contain only an extract of the flower parts should have a standardized percentage designated for each capsule. Otherwise, a person won’t know exactly how much to take in a dose. Major supplement manufacturers always do this. But unfortunately, lesser known brands sometimes just fill capsules up with some loose plant parts.