Used for nerve disorders for over 2,000 years, St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum L) is a perennial, with bright yellow flowers, which grow wild in Europe, Asia, and America.
A number of studies have shown St John’s Wort to have a beneficial effect on those who suffer from mild anxiety and depression, although it is not exactly clear how.
It is thought that the substance has the ability to prolong the effects of serotonin – a chemical in the body that, when in short supply, can lead to a mood imbalance.
What you need to know before taking St John’s Wort:
• It can be bought over the counter without a prescription.
• It can interfere with other medications, including contraception and anti-depressants, so you should always consult your GP before you take it.
• It should not be taken during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
• It can increase your sensitivity to the sun.