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Saint John’s Wort

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.