What are Benefits of St. Jon’s Wort Oil? St. John’s Wort is a flowering plant with yellow colored flowers with star-shaped petals. Clinical evidence suggests that it can help to combat depression.
What is depression?
Depression is a mental issue that affects the body, nervous system, moods, thoughts and behavior. It affects the way you eat or sleep, the way you feel about yourself, and the way you react to situations. People experience displeasure with everything, even the things which were pleasurable before. Depression is characterized by chronic fatigue, sleep disturbances, appetite changes, headaches, backaches, restlessness, irritability, feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy.
The causes are not entirely understood but they are probably many and varied. It may be triggered by tension, stress, trauma, chemical imbalances in the brain, thyroid disorders, upset stomach, headache, nutritional deficiencies, improper diet and physical disorders.
About St. John’s Wort:
St. John’s wort is used in herbal and traditional medicine. It is a flowering plant native to Europe, North and South America, East Asia and New Zealand. This wild plant has shown some effects in treating depression in the branch of alternative medicine. A 2008 research suggested that St. John’s wort is equally effective as anti-depressants. In ancient times, it was used for kidney or lung ailments, sleep disorders, and to facilitate wound healing. Today, it is available in the form of teas, extracts, oils, and capsules.
- John’s wort has two important chemical constituents: hypericin and hyperforin. Hypericin is believed to decrease the inhibition of dopamine (a brain chemical) thus increasing its levels in the brain. Dopamine dysregulation is one of the causes of depression. Hyperformin may have antibiotic properties. It also acts as a mood stabilizer.
- It is also used in menopausal women to help them deal with the effects of menopause (cessation of periods). It helps them soothe the hot flashes and mood swings
- The oil of St. John’s wort is useful in the healing of wounds and joint pain or muscle spasms. Historically, it was used topically for war wounds
- Eczema is an itchy skin condition which can be relieved by this herb
- Ill mental health often reflects in the physical health of a person. This is called somatization. This herb reduces the somatization in about a few weeks
- Hemorrhoids are swollen veins around the anus and in the rectum which causes discomfort and pain which can be relieved by this herb
- Anti-depressants are given to people with depression. They have a number of side effects. As compared to them, this herb has fewer side effects
- It is also used for nerve pain
- It is believed to inhibit viral infections like herpes
- John’s wort has a potential use in medical skin care as it may have anti-cancer, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties essential for the treatment of wounds, psoriasis, bruises, ulcers etc.
- Dysregulation of Serotonin (a brain chemical) is also one of the causes of depression or “feeling blue”. This herb elevates the levels of serotonin
- Addiction to smoking can be reduced by this herb
- It also has anxiolytic properties which helps reduce anxiety and tiredness
- This herb can interact with a lot of drugs and cause disruption in their mechanism of action. Some interactions are very dangerous.
- Anti-depressants are often used to increase the serotonin levels. Since this herb is used alternatively along with medicines, it can cause a dangerously elevated level of this brain chemical which can cause serotonin syndrome characterized by high body temperature, agitation, tremor, sweating etc.
- This herb decreases the efficiency of contraceptives thus increasing the chances of unwanted pregnancy
- This herb interacts with cholesterol decreasing medications, benzodiazepines, anti-depressants like SSRIs causing life threatening conditions
- This herb is poisonous to animals like goats, horses and sheep
- Although it possesses anxiolytic properties, in some people it may increase anxiety and heart problems
- When used in large amounts, it can increase photosensitivity and interferes with the absorption of iron and other minerals
Although it serves a lot of uses, St John’s wort has a lot of cons too. Research is still going on to determine the chemistry, biochemistry and the effectiveness of this herb. It cannot be used a substitute for prescription medication. Most of the uses and its properties are still being tested and not proven 100 percent. Do not consume it without speaking to your doctor first.
All-India toll free numbers for depression:
Connecting India: 18002094353
Vandrevala Foundation: 18602662345 ([email protected])