St. John’s Wort is a flowering shrub that is native to Europe. The flowers and leaves contain active ingredients, such as hyperforin, available in many supplement forms.
St. John’s Wort is a herbal remedy for depression that is available without a prescription in the United States. However, it has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat depression.
St. John’s Wort is recommended by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners and is widely licensed and prescribed as a depression treatment in many European countries.
There have been a number of studies on the effectiveness of St. John’s wort for depression. However, some of those studies have mixed results or are not conclusive, which is why it isn’t an approved depression treatment by the FDA. St. John’s wort also can cause severe side effects and interact with prescription medications.
Because of these potentially serious side effects, you should always speak with a physician before choosing to take St. John’s Wort.