Consumers

Psychology Information Online Homepage

Children Homepage

National Directory of Psychologists - Locate a Local Psychologist

Articles by Psychologists

Forensic Psychology

Subject Index of Topics

What is a Psychologist?

How to Select a Psychologist

Information About Psychological Problems

Information About Psychological Treatment

Psychology Bookstore

Frequently Asked Questions about Psychology

Professionals

List your practice in the National Directory of Psychologists

Publish Articles Online

Locate Continuing Education Programs

Psychology Jobs

Market Your Practice

Professional Resource Directory

Students

Psychology Careers

Graduate Education

Licensing Information

St. John's Wort

The herbal medicine St John’s wort has been used for centuries in many folk and herbal remedies. Today in Europe, it is used widely to treat mild-to-moderate depression. In the United States, it is one of the top-selling botanical products.

The National Institutes of Health conducted a clinical trial to determine the effectiveness of treating adults who have major depression with St Johns wort. The study included 340 people diagnosed with major depression. One-third of the people took the herbal medicine, one-third took an SSRI, and one-third took a placebo, or “sugar pill. ”

The people did not know what they were taking. The study found that St John’s wort was no more effective than the placebo in treating major depression. A study currently in progress is looking at the effectiveness of St John’s wort for treating mild or minor depression.

Other research has shown that St John’s wort can dangerously interact with other medications, including those used to control HIV. On February 10, 2000, the FDA issued a Public Health Advisory letter stating that the herb appears to interfere with certain medications used to treat heart disease, depression, seizures, certain cancers, and organ transplant rejection. Also, St Johns wort may interfere with oral contraceptives.

Because St John’s wort may not mix well with other medications, people should always talk with their doctors before taking it or any herbal supplement.

 


More Information About Depression