St John’s Wort – a herbal remedy for anxiety

Hannah Charman Medical HerbalistHannah Charman explains how St John’s Wort has been used for hundreds of years as a herbal remedy for anxiety.  

Hannah is a Medical Herbalist. She graduated from Middlesex University with an Honours Degree in Western Herbal Medicine, following four years of full-time study.

She is a Member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH).

It is not unusual for everyone to feel anxious at some time in their lives: changes in life circumstances, hormone levels, illness or bereavement can all lead to feelings of anxiety that can be hard to control for a period of time.

However, if you suffer from an anxiety disorder, it can lead to unpleasant side effects that can come and go without warning and could last for months or even years without intervention.

Recognising that anxiety is normal and that it can make you feel low and often physically unwell, is an important part of being able to move forward and take control of the common symptoms of anxiety.

If you suffer from anxiety, some of the physical symptoms that you might experience could include:

  • An increased heart rate
  • Tension in the muscles
  • Tingling in the hands and feet
  • Hyperventilating
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Feeling sick
  • Feeling like there is a tight band across the chest area
  • Tension headaches
  • Hot flushes
  • Increased perspiration
  • Dry mouth
  • Shaking
  • Choking sensations
  • Palpitations

Even though long-term anxiety is so unpleasant, many people who suffer from anxiety do not want to be reliant upon anti-anxiety medication as they may be concerned about the side effects. This is where turning to proven natural remedies for anxiety, like the traditional medical herb St John’s Wort, can make a huge difference.

St John’s Wort herbal remedy for anxiety

St John’s Wort is a herbal remedy that has been used for hundreds of years to treat mental health problems.  It is most commonly used as an over the counter alternative to prescription medications, to help alleviate symptoms of low to moderate depression, anxiety and associated sleep problems.

Multiple studies have shown that St John’s Wort can be useful for individuals suffering with mild symptoms of depression or anxiety, without the risks and side effects associated with taking synthetic anti-depressants or anti-anxiety formulations.

Hypericum Perforatum – to give it its correct botanical name – is a wild yellow flower that is usually found in vast quantities in parts of North America.

It contains the ingredients hypericin and hyperforin, which are known for their antidepressant properties.  Research suggests that these ingredients help to increase the activity of brain chemicals such as serotonin and noradrenaline, both of which are thought to play an important part in regulating our mood.

How can St John’s Wort help with mild anxiety?

St John’s Wort is a traditional herbal medicinal product that is used to relieve the symptoms of slightly low mood and mild anxiety. By taking the herbal medicine on a daily basis, individuals could see a difference in their mood and anxiety levels over the course of 4-6 weeks.

Unlike traditional, chemical SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) and other prescription anxiety medication, St John’s Wort presents very few side effects and offers a natural remedy for the symptoms of anxiety. However, if you plan to try this herbal medicine, it is very important to read the patient information leaflet first, particularly if you use any form of hormonal birth control or are on regular medication.

Should I take St John’s Wort for my anxiety disorder?

Many people say they find St John’s Wort useful in helping to manage the feelings of anxiety that can so quickly take over their lives.  Improved mood and a lessening fear of social situations can help to regulate sleep patterns, and a better night’s sleep can in turn help combat anxiety.

A herbal helping hand

No one should suffer needlessly with the effects of anxiety, particularly now that mental health conditions are more prevalent now than ever before.

If you feel that you are anxious on a regular basis, St John’s Wort may provide the relief you are looking for.

If you have been diagnosed with severe depression or anxiety, St John’s Wort may not be right for you.

Before considering taking a herbal remedy for anxiety, you should speak to a medical professional to understand the limitations of the remedy and any possible contraindications with any medication you are already taking.

Licensed for quality and safety

HRI Good Mood tablets offer the highest dose of St John’s Wort available on the high street in the UK.

Like all HRI herbal medicines, it is licensed under the Traditional Herbal Registration (THR) scheme, which means that it has gone through a rigorous application process with the government’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), following the submission and approval of a wide range of evidence to indicate the safety and quality of the product.

The THR logo on the pack shows you that herbal medicines are of pharmaceutical quality and manufactured to European Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) Guidelines.

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