Science Questions

Is there any evidence that St John's Wort works for anxiety?

Sun, 21st Nov 2010

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Phil Reynolds & Richard Colley, via Facebook asked:

The plant Saint Johns Wort has been used for thousands of years to treat mild depression / anxiety disorders, but is there any scientific evidence that it does anything and how is it supposed to work?


Chris -   I can quote meta-analyses of randomised control trials of St. Johnís Wort for major depression suggest that it is superior to placebo and itís similarly effective compared with conventional anti-depressant drugs and tends to have fewer side effects.  St. Johnís Wort being a way of actually making your mood elevate.  So itís a sort of natural anti-depressant.  Although they do say in placebo control trials, trials from German speaking countries tend to report more favourable findings.  So I guess the jury is out on that one.


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