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Alternative medicine in Australia - Your Health are located in Australia are a group of alternative / holistic doctors. They are the leaders in integrative medicine providing the optimal blend of natural / alternative medicine and tradition medical treatment. Your Health are a team of alternative doctors and practitioners of holistic, natural medicine in Australia. Providing alternative natural treatments in Australia Natural herbal treatment information for a range of illnesses and disorders. Herb Library - Information on natural medicine and herbs Useful Alternative and Natural Medicine Resources in Australia Contact Your Health - Doctors in Australia providing natural and alternative medicine treatment.
Information on St. John's Wort including the benefits and uses of using St. John's Wort. Your Health are located in Australia are a group of alternative / holistic doctors and use St. John's Wort as part of a holistic approach to health.
St. John's Wort
Botanical name

Hypericum perforatum

Note: St. John's Wort is considered suitable for the treatment of mild-to-moderate depression, not severe depression that interferes with the ability to function in daily life. The use of St. John's Wort or other herbs is not a substitute for other medical treatment in cases of serious illness. Many conditions are not appropriate for self-diagnosis or self-medication and require the supervision of qualified health care practitioners. Please contact your healthcare practitioner before taking this herb.


The traditional nerve tonic action of this herb has been confirmed by modern research into its antidepressant activity. Antiviral activity has also been demonstrated against herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2, Epstein–Barr virus, influenza types A and B and retroviruses, including the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Topical preparations of St. John's wort have shown antibacterial, astringent and wound-healing activity and have been used to treat skin inflammation, burns, ulcers, nerve pain and damage, and haemorrhoids.

Conditions commonly used for

An analysis of 23 clinical studies involving a total of 1757 patients concluded that St. John's wort is significantly more effective than placebo and as effective as standard antidepressant medications in the treatment of mild or moderate depression. It also causes fewer side effects than standard antidepressants.

  • Mild to moderate depression
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), premenstrual syndrome (PMS), obsessive compulsive disorder, and menopausal symptoms
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disturbances including insomnia and hypersomnia
  • Wounds and burns, herpes blisters, shingles, haemorrhoids, skin inflammation and nerve damage (topical application)
  • Possible supportive therapy for viral infections such as herpes simplex, influenza, Epstein-Barr, mononucleosis, and HIV
Common dosage range

The recommended preparation of St. John's Wort is an extract standardized to contain 0.3% hypericin. As an antidepressant, the recommended amount is 300 to 500 mg three times/day with meals for a minimum of four to six weeks.

Topically, the infused oil or fluid extract is used as directed.

Cautions, Contraindications and Side Effects

  • St. John's wort is well tolerated by most people, and there are no reports of major side effects with recommended doses. Side effects are usually mild. They may include: Abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, nausea, dizziness, dry mouth, itching, skin rash, sleep problems, tiredness.
  • Do not take during pregnancy or while breast-feeding
  • St. John's wort may cause photosensitivity in people taking very large doses. As a precaution, people with fair skin and people taking other medications (eg. Tetracycline) that can also cause photosensitivity should use a sunscreen with a skin protection factor (SPF) of at least 15; they should also not use sun-lamps, tanning beds or booths while taking St. John's Wort.
  • St. John's Wort may affect the way certain medications work by increasing detoxification through the liver or via other mechanisms. If you are taking prescribed medication, please seek the advice of your qualified health care practitioner before taking St. John–s Wort. According to the studies, St. John's Wort may lower blood levels of indinavir (used to treat HIV infection), cyclosporine (used to prevent organ transplant rejection), digoxin (a heart medication) and theophylline (an asthma medication).
  • Because St. John's Wort works on various neurotransmitters including serotonin, it is advised that you do not take it at the same time as prescribed antidepressant drugs. Combining these may result in the development of symptoms of 'serotonergic syndrome', which include headache, dizziness, nausea, agitation, and anxiety.
Links & Other Information

It is not within the scope of the YourHealth website to provide comprehensive information on documented or potential herb-drug interactions. Please seek the advice of your healthcare practitioner or click on the following links for more information.

Contact YourHealth for referenced material regarding this herb, any conditions or therapies mentioned.

A Medical Practitioner specialising in Integrative Medicine, a qualified Nutritionist or Naturopath will be well trained in the use of nutrients, including their proper dosage, contraindications and potential drug interactions. Although many herbal remedies are available over the counter, self-prescribing is not recommended except for minor ailments, and best results will be obtained by seeking the advice of a qualified herbal medicine practitioner. Any plant substance, even those that are used as foods, can cause an allergic reaction in some people.

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