St. John's wort works for depression - however, some preparations are unsuitable

St. John's wort works for depression - however, some preparations are unsuitable

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Öko-Test Foundation evaluates 20 St. John's wort products

Depression is often underestimated, because contrary to an occasional low mood, depression has a massive impact on the thinking, feeling and acting of those affected and can also be accompanied by disorders of the body's functions. Depressed people mostly cannot free themselves from the disease on their own and need professional and / or medicinal support. A herbal extract from St. John's wort can help against mild to moderate depression. The effect is considered scientifically proven with the correct dosage and a suitable extract. The Öko-Test Foundation has now tested 20 St. John's wort preparations. But only the half could convince.

St. John's wort supplements can help with mild and moderate depression. But the extract usually only helps if it is taken in the correct dosage and in the appropriate length. The extract itself can also influence the result. If it is taken incorrectly, the desired effect is often not achieved. The intake should therefore be clarified with a doctor. Studies show that 500 to 1000 milligrams should be consumed daily. This has to be maintained over a period of at least six weeks - better still over several months.

Depression should not be underestimated

In Germany, around 5.3 million people suffer from depression requiring treatment each year. More than one in five women and more than one in ten men develop at least one depression in their life. Depression can have a massive impact on the life of those affected and cause cognitive, psychomotor and other dysfunctions such as exhaustion, lack of concentration, loss of sexual pleasure and the desire to do almost everything else.

In addition, they often occur in combination with sleep disorders and a feeling of depression. The symptoms are so severe in some people that they try to commit suicide. There are now very effective treatment options to combat depression.

St. John's wort is not the same as St. John's wort

Of the 20 products that Oeko-Test tested, five over-the-counter St. John's wort preparations from the pharmacy were able to achieve the test grade "very good". These include the medicines "Jarsin 300 mg", "Kira", "Laif 612", "Laif 900 Balance" and "Neuroplant Aktiv". However, seven freely available products scored “poor” and one even “insufficient” in the test. The preparations "The Healthy Plus St. John's Wort", "Dr. Thin Hyperigold St. John's wort herb tablets N "," Schoenenberger St. John's wort, juice "," Tetesept St. John's wort capsules 500 mg "and" Zirkulin St. John's wort coated tablets H "are not suitable for the treatment of depression according to the Öko-Test. “Kneipp Johanniskraut Dragees H” scored the worst with the grade “insufficient”. According to the Öko-Test, there was no evidence of efficacy and advice that the consumer should go to the doctor if symptoms persist.

How does St. John's wort work?

St. John's wort, also called Hypericum perforatum, has been used as a medicinal plant for over 2000 years. Depending on the variety, it contains several substances, such as hypericin, pseudohypericin, flavonoids, bioflavones, hyperforin and adhyperforin. Even if there are no high-quality studies on the exact mode of action, the beneficial effects are attributed to the interplay of the substances contained. The ingredients cause an increase in the neurotransmitters when they are taken for a longer period, tailored to the patient. In addition, there is the photosensitizing effect, which leads to increased light utilization, which can help in particular with winter depression.

The effects of St. John's wort can certainly be equated with one or the other antidepressant. In addition, St. John's wort has an anxiolytic effect, has a slightly sedative effect and helps with nervous restlessness. However, possible side effects and possible interactions with other medications should not be neglected. (vb)

Author and source information

Video: St Johns wort (August 2022).