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St John's wort - Hypericum perforatum

This information explains what St John's wort is used for, how it works, possible side effects and interactions with other medicines.

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About St John's wort

What is St John's wort?

St John's wort is a herbal medicine that is used to treat symptoms of mental health problems. These include mild and moderate depression (for example seasonal affective disorder, SAD), mild anxiety and sleep problems.

The botanical name for St John’s wort is Hypericum perforatum, and it is sometimes marketed and sold as ‘Hypericum’.  It contains the active ingredients hypericin and hyperforin, as well as other substances present in the plant. Hypericin is the ingredient used to treat depression, and hyperforin has antibiotic properties.

I took a lot of different prescription medication when diagnosed with a mental health condition and experienced severe side effects and withdrawal problems. I am much better now but I still experience periods of anxiety and low mood and St John’s wort helps me to cope.

 

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