Skip Navigation Links
 



                     


 



   
    Learn More     Subscribe    
Join Now!      Login
 
 
 
FREE HEALTH
NEWSLETTER
 
 
Antioxidants Quiz
Which of the following is an antioxidant?
 
 
 
 
N
atural Medicine Research
 

How does St. John's wort work?

© Ray Sahelian MD

The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Natural Medicine Research by Ray Sahelian MD. View all columns in series
Ray Sahelian Over the past three years St. John's wort has become one of the most popular herbs due to its consistent and effective antidepressant actions. Many Americans are starting to substitute this herb for pharmaceutical antidepressants. But how does this herb work? Up to now we still don't exactly know which brain chemical systems are most influenced. Researchers at the School of Pharmacy, at Temple University in Philadelphia did a review of published antidepressant mechanism(s) of action of St. John's wort. Although the authors of the study are still not clear, they believe that St. John's wort mechanism of action is similar to that of the synthetic antidepressants, such as the selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (such as Prozac) or monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors. But they add that the inhibition by this herb is weak relative to the pharmaceutical drugs and that other mechanisms are possible.

Comments: Having reviewed the published studies with this herb, I tend to agree that the clinical efficacy of St. John's wort is probably attributable to the combined contribution of several mechanisms, each one too weak by itself to account for the overall effect. This is what makes St. John's herb a special herb. By working on several brain chemical systems, its overall benefits are enhanced while the possible side effects are reduced.

Bennett DA Jr, Phun L, Polk JF, Voglino SA, Zlotnik V, Raffa RB. Neuropharmacology of St. John's Wort. Ann Pharmacother 1998 Nov;32(11):1201-8

Add your comment      
About The Author
Ray Sahelian, M.D., is a popular and respected physician who has been seen on numerous television programs including NBC Today, Dateline NBC, and CNN, and quoted by countless major magazines such as Newsweek He is the bestselling author of Mind Boosters, Natural Sex Boosters, and ...more
 
Share   Facebook   Buzz   Delicious   Digg   Twitter  
 
 
 
 
 
 
From Our Sponsor
 
 
 
 
 
 
Featured Events
Wellness Inventory Certification Training
     September 16-December 16, 2014
     Teleclass, CA USA
 
Additional Calendar Links
 
Wellness, Self Responsibility, Love, dimension!

Search   
Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Healthy Products       Bookstore       Wellness Inventory
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Free Newsletter      What Doctor's Don't Tell You      Stevia.com      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us

Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.