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1243620 tn?1274794297

Did St. John's Wort work for you?

Who has tried St. John's Wort? Did it work for you? Were there side effects? How long did it take to take effect?
21 Responses
Avatar universal
I drink SJW tea when I feel a little depressed.  I used to drink it more often.  It does seem to help take the edge off immediately after drinking a couple of cups, but I have to be persistent in drinking it often.  I was not aware of any side effects.

I've recently begun eating some foods based on a raw diet which believes that heated food loses its potency.  I'm wondering if there's a better way for me to take SJW where it would be more affective.

Avatar universal
Before I wanted to come to terms with my depression I took Saint Johns Wort (capsules) and B12. I stayed with it for 6 months or so. It really helped a lot and it seemed to help pretty quickly. I wanted a natural way to help me out because I didn't want to take a pill and become a zombie. That was my biggest fear with antidepressants. I stopped taking it because I felt better and thought I could handle things on my own. I started taking it again 4 months ago along with the B12 but I had a pretty bad breakdown and decided it was time for professional help. I'm now on Wellbutrin and was on Zoloft but stopped taking it because of the side effects. I ran out of Saint Johns Wort and never picked anymore up. I think the Wellbutrin is doing good on it's own so I don't think I'll take the SJW again. I think you should look into it. It's a great alternative to pharmaceuticals.
1243620 tn?1274794297
Thanks for your posts. How long did it take to work? How many days/weeks? I started my first dose. 300mg. Going to take 600 a day and then go up to 900 a day in two days.
Avatar universal
I want to say it worked within a week. I seem to have meds work pretty quickly with me. When I started taking Wellbutrin it made me feel better within days. Maybe it's just too much positive thinking but I try to believe that everything is going to work when I start it. I can't remember the mg dose I was taking. It's kind of hard to find where I was looking for it and they only had one brand. I took 3 of them in a day. I want to say they were probably 100mg each. I never thought of taking more than what the bottle said. Maybe it would have worked better!
1243620 tn?1274794297
Is it normal to feel worse? I've been taking it for a few days and I feel horrible. Crying nonstop, having suicidal thoughts, anxiety has sky rocketed. Please someone tell me if it gets better after a few days. If not, thats it, I'm stopping it.
Avatar universal
I didn't have that happen to me. If it's really concerning to you than I would stop taking it.
Avatar universal
I asked my naturopath about St. John's Wort and she said she preferred I used 5-HTP.  The only thing I can remember that she said about SJW was that it coule lead to sun sensitivity and since it's summertime I might have a reaction.  Haven't started the 5-HTP yet.  Kind of scared to do anyting that affects my brain chemistry, but really want to try the natural route too.  It seems that there are as many posts about people trying to get off of antidepressants as there are those saying they are working.  So, first I'll try the natural route.  

I wish you well!  Everything's going to be fine!  
1243620 tn?1274794297
What is 5-HTP? I ended up stopping St John's Wort. I'm thinking of starting it up again. Maybe a lower dosage. If anyone has anymore experience with this herb, please let me know.
1042487 tn?1275283499
5-HTP is metabolic intermediate in the synthesis of serotonin. It's an amino acid so in order to make serotonin you need those amino acids: tryptophan and then it is 5-HTP then it is metabolized to the biosynthesis of serotonin then melatonin is synthesis occur from serotonin in order to help with your circadian rhythm. It is believed that 5-HTP supplement help with the production of serotonin but depression is a complicated illness that often doesn't imply only serotonin. All the monoamines (serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine) can have an impact on depression. The depressive person can also have no trouble with his/her monoamine and still be depressed due to personal life issues. The best strategy against depression is an appointment with a psychiatrist and then weekly appointment with a psychologist if needed.

The best time to take 5-HTP is before bedtime on an empty stomach.

1110049 tn?1409405744
I took St John's Wort and 5-HTP, but they did not help me at all.  Perhaps the dose I was taking was too low.  Then I read bad things about 5-HTP.  

St John's Wort seems to help mild depression, but I have major depression.  I had to go back on anti-depressants.  Unfortun ately they do take quite a while to take effect.  Up to six weeks in my case.

I am now very well, and will never stop my medication again.
Avatar universal
Tried St Johns wort with not much success have to say. Presently trying the 5-HTP andf have been on them for at least 3months as was floundering for a bit and was desperate. Does'nt appear to do anything for me have to say. Like 4maddie as accepting with myself that may need medication for the long haul.
1246883 tn?1285551573
I've been on meds for a while now. At the beginning the thought of taking something  for the rest of my life was daunting. And, an antidepressant that thought, oh boy.

But, the pain, and harrowing grip of depression was worse. No one deserves to suffer this way.  If that means a pill will change that and I can have laughter and meaningful moments, then so be it. I take the pill.  

It true I had to accept that as part of myself.  And, sometimes still do.  If it helps....why not?

Hang in there it does get better.

Avatar universal

is the rather short answer, a waste of more money
Avatar universal
"suicidal thoughts"  you say

time to go to the Doctor, you could enter a worse state and you need to get yourself to a Doc, please go as soon as you can
1398919 tn?1293845204
It works for MILD depression - pots of European studies.

when I tried to use it to replace SSRI's because of the sexual side effects, I ended up in a psychotic depression and hospitalized - but I was too depressed in the first place for it - already suicidal.

Avatar universal
1406964 tn?1283207466
Hi Diana,

You are quite right. Many people do find St John's Wort to be very effective. Clinical Trials here in the UK found it to be at least as effective as Fluoxetine (Prozac).

I wish you the very best of luck and hope that you find it just as effective as you did before.

Take care.
Avatar universal
I tried St. John's Wort for 3 weeks and it did not help my depression.  I gave up because I began to feel worse and am now taking Celexa 10mg daily which is working well with no side effects (apart from dry mouth).
1406964 tn?1283207466
OK then.. hope anyone reading this has the patience to listen to me prattling on a bit!

One of the big issues with St John's Wort (as with any herbal medication) is where did it come from and what is actually in it. The important thing is the quality of the plant (which affects how much of the active ingredient- in this case Hypericin) it contains. Processing is also very important, as is how it is taken.

Because nearly all governments around the world, generally do not regard herbs as medicines, there is rarely any legislation in place to ensure quality control.

The plants need to either be grown in their own natural habitat, or carefully nurtured in a garden. Unhealthy plants are of little medicinal use, nor are pants that have been forced in a greenhouse.

The plant also needs to be harvested at the correct time of year. For some species this is in late spring when they are at their peak, for others it may be autumn, if they build up stores of alkaloids to last over the winter.

Plants grown on an industrial scale may be treated with fertilisers and pesticides, and when they are harvested, they may be harvested along with grass, dandelions, poppies etc. It all depends on whether the manufacturer is interested in creating a quality product, or is only concerned with mass sales and profits.

St John's Wort that has been carefully sun-dried will be a very different product to one in which all the Hypericin has been destroyed due to blasting with heat.

100, 300 or 900mg of St John's Wort may contain a lot of hypericin or none. Some manufacturers do state the level of active ingredient, some don't.

The only way round this is to research the company which produces the herbs you consume, and to find out about it's ethics and quality controls.

Personally I will only buy herbs from a qualified medical herbalist. They want to know exactly what they're herbs contain and insist on the highest quality. They also have a lot to lose if they sell you poor quality products.

As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. Herbs that have been organically grown and carefully nurtured and harvested, with strict quality control and analysis are going to cost you more.

How you take it is important too. Tea is dodgy as you have little idea what dose you're getting (plus in can make you feel nauseous). The most accurate dose is probably obtained by taking the tincture, but it does taste bad. For those who can't take the taste, capsules or tablets are better.

St John's Wort is effective, particularly if taken in conjunction with the natural amino acid 5HTP. Patients generally start to feel the benefit after around three days, but it doesn't peak until you've been taking it for 2-3 weeks. It is effective for mild to moderate depression, but probably not for moderate to severe depression, in which case you will need pharmaceutical antidepressants.

The active ingredient Hypericin, works in a similar way to Fluoxetine (Prozac) so it can have similar side-effects such as nausea and tremor, but they are less common and less severe than with Prozac. It is much safer, and there is no withdrawal syndrome associated with St Johns Wort.

Herbs should not be taken alongside pharmaceutical treatments (since there can be interactions) unless you consult your doctor, and preferably a medical herbalist as well.

Hope this helps.

Avatar universal
I completely agree with you. I just barely started taking St. Johns Wort a couple of days ago taking the prescribed amount and it really helps. I take 900 MG a day, and it contains 0.3% Hypericin, so if any of you want to use that as a makeshift reference, feel free. Who cares if you have to take a pill to feel better about yourself and the world? You shouldn't feel embarrassed, or like you're weak. Life is no good without the happy and meaningful moments, and some people have to use different means to get there.
480448 tn?1426952138
This is an old thread. It would be much better for you to start your own thread.  It will get read more.  Most people tend to skip over the old ones.
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