St. John’s wort is named after John the Baptist, along with the word wort, which is an old English derivative of the plant. The folklore surrounding this herb holds to the idea that it chased off evil spirits, which of course is not exactly accurate. However, given the lack of knowledge, it obviously reflects the herbs effectiveness. St. John’s Wort has more of a European history of usage, than American, however, many physicians are increasingly accepting its benefits. Further, several studies have been done in Germany, deeming it as more effective than a placebo. I personally think it goes way beyond that.
When I first started my special needs son on St. John’s wort, it was simply a leading from God. I knew about the herb’s anti-depressant qualities, but that was it. I tried a grocery-store brand several years ago on myself, when I ran into a difficult season in my life. However, I did not find it particularly effective.Yet when I found myself running out of options for my son’s depression, I decided to try a good quality herb, instead of the store shelves, and went to a supplier, the Bulk Herb Store.
We were blessed in trying out the herb, because it worked not just a little bit, but quite well. Upon further research in several herb guides, I found out why I felt so strongly about using it.
What is St. John’s wort supposed to do for you?
- Soothes anxiety and depression
- Assists with obsessive compulsive disorders.
- Heals bruising.
- Soothes cramps and muscle strains.
- Soothes digestion issues, but can aggravate digestion when too much is ingested
- Soothes seasonal affective disorder.
- Serves as an anti-virus agent.
- Also good for nerve injuries.
In the Christian Guide to Natural Products, Dr. Minirth lists other benefits, which St. John’s Wort can assist your body’s healing, such as
- gallbladder problems
- kidney disease
Yet Dr. Minirth warns us to be cautious in using St. John’s Wort.
- It could potentially be dangerous if taken with prescription anti-depressants.
- Creates photosensitivity of the skin to the sun.
- Appears to interfere with a wide range of other drugs.
- May cause some liver problems.
- May cause disruptions in the menstrual cycle.
- May reduce fertility.
- Topically, it may irritate the skin.
- May take 6 weeks to really take effect.
There were several more, listed in my herbal reference books, but I would suggest further research if you are really serious about using it, and you aren’t sure if it is for your family.
St. John’s Wort has become more widely accepted as a legitimate remedy in the medical world. It does have well-known, and documented proof that it is effective as a mild to moderate anti-depressant. As our family can attest to, it does work, and my special needs son really does respond well to it. There have been several medical studies done on its effectiveness and it has been known to genuinely treat depression.
No, I did not notice any of the side-effects in my family. When we have taken the herb, I notice immediate results and honestly, we have had no negative interactions. I noticed an increased healing of bruises in my son, whose genetic syndrome creates an increased appearance of bruising. All in all, for our family it works well.
What about you? Have you used St. John’s wort in your family? How did it work for you?