Best supplements for depression: St John’s wort could be a natural remedy for a low mood

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With a very sombre mood felt by many Britons, falling into low spirits could be a reality for many. When looking to find natural remedies to help curb the symptoms of depression delving into previous studies and its effectiveness is advisable. As such, St. John’s wort has provided some impressive results and could be your answer to helping improve your mood. How?

For centuries, St. John’s wort has been used to treat a variety of health conditions, including depression and mental health disorders, said Healthline.

The site continued: “The herb also has anti-inflammatory properties, as well as antibacterial and antiviral properties. People have used it to treat infections and wounds on the skin.

“The flowers on the St. John’s wort plant are used to create the supplement, often in the form of teas, tablets, and capsules. Liquid extracts and tinctures are sometimes used as well.

“If you have mild to moderate depression, a standard dose of St. John’s wort is between 20 to 1,800 milligrams from a tablet or capsule.

“The average dose is 300 milligrams two or three times per day.”

What the study said

In a study published in BMJ, St John’s wort for treatment of depression but with fewer side effects was further investigated.

The study noted: “St John’s wort (hypericum) was used in two reviewers assessed studies.

“Inclusion criteria: randomised, controlled, double blind trials of hypericum [St John’s wort] extracts versus placebo or versus standard antidepressants in people with major depression.”

The study concluded that Hypericum (St John’s wort) extracts are more effective than placebo in people with major depression and are similarly effective to standard antidepressants but with fewer side effects. 

In another study published in the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, the effectiveness of St John’s wort for depression was analysed.

The study noted: “Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder.

“It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working.

“In a 26-week clinical trial with 124 participants, St. John’s wort, a standard antidepressant (sertraline, an SSRI), and a placebo were similarly effective in treating major depression of moderate severity.

“A 2008 review of 29 international studies suggested that St. John’s wort may be better than a placebo and as effective as different standard prescription antidepressants for major depression of mild to moderate severity.

“St. John’s wort also appeared to have fewer side effects than standard antidepressants.” 

Jeremy Wolf, a licensed naturopathic physician, explained that St. John’s wort creates many actions in the body.

“It is a strong antidepressant and may elevate mood in individuals with mild to moderate depression,” he said.

He notes that St. John’s wort is not recommended for individuals with severe depression.

Wolf said St. John’s wort also has strong antiviral activity that may also promote healing and repair of wounds.

What are the symptoms of depression

  • Trouble concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and helplessness
  • Pessimism and hopelessness
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or sleeping too much
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Loss of interest in things once pleasurable, including sex
  • Overeating, or appetite loss
  • Aches, pains, headaches, or cramps that won’t go away
  • Digestive problems that don’t get better, even with treatment
  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts


For confidential support call the Samaritans in the UK on 116 123 or visit a local Samaritans branch.

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