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

21 November 2010

Question

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?

Answer

Chris - I can quote meta-analyses of randomised control trials of St. John's Wort for major depression suggest that it is superior to placebo and it's similarly effective compared with conventional anti-depressant drugs and tends to have fewer side effects. St. John's Wort being a way of actually making your mood elevate. So it's 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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