Young woman coping with anxiety

The herbal remedy for mild anxiety

St John’s Wort has been used for centuries as a herbal remedy for anxiety to help relieve the symptoms of slightly low mood and is still one of the most popular herbal remedies in use today. Part of the Hypericae family, St John’s Wort, or Hypericum perforatum L. to give it its proper name, is a bushy plant with a small yellow flower and grows in Europe, North Africa, South West Asia and South America.

Where does the name come from?

St. John’s Wort has traditionally been used to treat a wide variety of symptoms and is well-known for its powerful astringent qualities. Legend tells us that early Christians named the herb after St John the Baptist, perhaps because its yellow flowers usually bloom on or before the 24th June, which has traditionally been celebrated as the Saint’s birthday. The word “wort” is simply an Old English word for a plant or herb.

What is St Johns Wort?

St John’s Wort is a popular, non-prescription herbal remedy for anxiety  – you can read more about its uses on the website of the mental health charity MIND which explains that it is a herbal medicine that is used to treat symptoms of mental health problems including seasonal affective disorder, SAD, mild anxiety and sleep problems.

It is also used to help relieve the symptoms of neurological conditions including nerve pain, sciatica, migraines and other headaches, and is also associated with relief from chronic fatigue, clogged arteries, weight loss, hepatitis C, burns, ulcers and herpes.

The herbal remedy for anxiety and low mood

There are a number of active ingredients in St Johns Wort that are believed to work in a similar way to synthetic drugs, including hypericin, hyperforin, flavanols and xanthines. These are thought to enhance the levels of the ‘feel-good’ hormone Serotonin in the brain, helping to relieve the symptoms of low mood and to curb anxiety. According to the MIND website, “Research suggests that St John’s wort works in a similar manner to standard antidepressants, but with far fewer reported side effects”.

A report on a large review and meta-analysis of past research published in 2008 and reported on the NHS Choices website found that people taking St. John’s Wort were 28% more likely to respond to treatment than those on a placebo. There were no significant differences in improvement rates between St. John’s Wort and standard drugs such as SSRIs or tricyclics and patients taking the herbal remedy were less likely to drop out of trials due to adverse effects than those taking standard drugs.

Whilst the herb is available on prescription in many European countries, but is not currently prescribed in the UK. It is licensed by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Two tablets of HRI Good Mood contain the highest dosage of St John’s Wort in the UK herbal medicines market. HRI Good Mood is a traditional herbal medicinal product used to relieve the symptoms of slightly low mood and mild anxiety based on traditional use.

If you believe you are suffering from depression, you should always consult your doctor.

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