Often referred to as “nature’s Prozac,” Saint John’s Wort is commonly used as a natural mood elevator. A well-rounded herbal supplement, it contains a natural mood booster called hypericin that is also known to have properties that reduce or inhibit both inflammation and germs. Saint John’s Wort also contains a compound known as hyperforin which is believed to inhibit the breakdown of the mood-elevator seratonin.
On the female side, Saint John’s Wort has also been known to alleviate menstrual cramps. Aside from it’s mood elevating effects, it can be used externally as a pain killer and antiseptic.
If being used for depression, Saint John’s Wort without polyphenol extract can take up to 3 weeks to achieve mood boosting effects. Taken with this compound however, Saint John’s Wort can begin to work in as little as 2 or 3 days.
Potential side effects of Saint John’s Wort include sensitivity to light and increased risk of sunburn. People taking 5-HTP (often used as a fat burner) should stay away from this supplement as well as people already on anti-depressants.
Unless under the supervision of a doctor or herbalist, avoid taking Saint John’s Wort for prolonged periods of time.