A Naturopath's Top 10 Tips For Taking St. John’s Wort
The parts of the plant that we use are the aerial parts, such as the flowering tops and leaves. This plant has small dark green oval leaves and bright yellow flowers. The flowers have a red tinge on the underside with edged black dots that contain the key constituent hypericin. St John’s wort is one of the plants we wild harvest (from Central Otago in New Zealand).
How can I use St John's wort?
If you are wondering how to take St John’s wort, you’ll be pleased to know that there are a multitude of ways that this plant can be used. From wild foraging to herbal supplements, we have lots of ideas to help you incorporate it into your everyday.
Tea - You can take St John’s wort as a tea by drying some flowers or purchasing some from your local health store. By adding 1 tsp per 150ml hot water and steeping it for 5 minutes, you can make a wonderful tea to support your mood and nervous system. Having a St John’s wort tea will not interfere with your medication as it is only using the water soluble constituents (keep reading for more info on this!).
🌿Related: Your Ultimate Guide To Herbal Tea
Tincture - If you need more support, a tincture is often the best way of taking St John’s wort. A tincture is when the plant has been steeped in alcohol for at least four weeks. Alcohol extracts a lot of the actives within the plant, which can then be taken in small doses daily. Our Mood Boost contains St John’s wort tincture (as well as lemon balm and hawthorn), which gives it its high therapeutic action and makes it quick and easy for you to take each day.
Can St John's wort help with depression and anxiety?
There is a large body of clinical evidence that supports St John’s wort use for depression and anxiety. The German Commission E (which is a government-recognised body) approved a standardised St John’s wort extract to officially support low to moderate mood issues, and it is one of the most studied and prescribed plants in complementary medicines today.
If you struggle with your mood and are wondering how to take St John’s wort, then a St John’s wort supplement could be the perfect solution. A multitude of studies have highlighted its efficacy and also the lack of side effects that people experience when taking this amazing plant.
How does St John's wort work?
Once you’ve learnt how to take St John’s wort, you’ll probably be wondering how it works. This plant works by helping to support reuptake of dopamine, serotonin, nor-adrenalin and GABA. All the good things you need for a healthy and happier mood.
Previously, hypericin was thought to be the constituent that gave this plant its mood-lifting action - however, they have found it is the combination of all the constituents within the plant that lends this effect. Once again, it highlights that nature is better as a whole - not an isolated constituent.
St John’s wort also helps to reduce and break down levels of the stress hormone cortisol within the body, and it is also able to cross the blood-brain barrier, which can help with mood support. Clinical trials have also shown that St John’s wort helps with some of the psychological aspects due to hormonal changes like PMS, perimenopause and menopause.
Using St John’s wort also helps with reducing the side effects some find with conventional treatment; often, people find they struggle with upset stomachs with some medications. This does not happen with St John’s wort.
How much St John's wort should I take?
When learning how to take St John's wort, you'll want to know which dose is suitable and safe.
Where can I find trustworthy St John's wort supplements?