Lorna Vanderhaeghe, BSc
St John`s wort has the distinction of being the most-researched natural antidepressant
St John's wort has the distinction of being the most-researched natural antidepressant. More than 30 double-blind placebo controlled studies world wide have shown an improvement in symptoms such as depression, anxiety, feelings of worthlessness and sleep irregularities.
In comparison studies, this potent herb has also proven more effective than imiprimine and amitriptyline, standard anti-depressant medications. As well, St John's wort did not cause the side effects of conventional medication (dry mouth, kidney dysfunction and drowsiness). Within weeks of use, mood improved and symptoms disappeared.
Stop Herpes Cold Sores
St John's wort also displays potent antiviral activity, helping heal cold sores herpes, cuts, scrapes and surgical wounds much quicker. Naturopath Tori Hudson states in her book Women's Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine that the antiviral activity of St John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) has been demonstrated. Laboratory studies show that the active ingredients hypericin and pseudohypericin show strong antiviral activity against herpes simplex virus I and II as well as the flu virus, influenza A and B.
HIV and Chronic Fatigue Research
Dr Melvyn Werbach reports in Botanical Influences on Illness that St John's wort caused excitement when it was found to inhibit a variety of retro-viruses, including the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). St John's wort was also found to slow or halt the Epstein-Barr virus, commonly part of "Yuppie flu," or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Its ability to impair the virus associated with chronic fatigue and improve sleep patterns and mood makes it an excellent treatment of CFS.
Smart Medicine for Healthier Living recommends using St John's wort oil topically to speed wound healing, bruises and sprains. Simply rub the oil into the area of concern several times per day for rapid recovery.
Research is the key to validating the effectiveness of herbal remedies. St John's wort is recognized in study after study as a potent, effective treatment for depression and now as an antiviral treatment.