Research Publications on St John's wort for Anxiety and Depression

Studies on Hypericum perforatum (St. John's Wort) indicate its effectiveness in treating certain symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), particularly physical and behavioral symptoms, though findings on mood and pain-related symptoms are mixed.

In depression treatment, St. John's Wort has shown comparable efficacy to standard SSRIs for mild-to-moderate depression, with fewer discontinuations due to side effects, but the evidence is moderate, and more research is needed to assess long-term safety and efficacy.

Overall, St. John's Wort may offer benefits for specific PMS symptoms and mild-to-moderate depression, emphasizing the need for further investigation into its effects on severe depression and long-term use.

The Efficacy of Hypericum perforatum (St John’s Wort) for the Treatment of Premenstrual Syndrome A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial; CNS Drugs, 2010; Link

This study examined the effectiveness of Hypericum perforatum (St John's Wort) in treating premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms. Conducted at the University of Leeds, it involved 36 women diagnosed with mild PMS, using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover design. Participants received 900 mg/day of Hypericum perforatum or a placebo for two menstrual cycles, with a washout cycle in between. The results showed that Hypericum perforatum significantly improved the physical and behavioural symptoms of PMS compared to placebo (p < 0.05), but did not significantly affect mood- and pain-related symptoms, nor did it alter plasma hormone and cytokine levels or scores for anxiety, depression, aggression, and impulsivity. The study concludes that Hypericum perforatum is effective for certain PMS symptoms, suggesting a need for further research on its impact on mood and pain symptoms.

The Effects of St. John's Wort on Premenstrual Syndrome in Single Women: A Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study; Clinical Psychopharmacology and Neuroscience, 2010; Link

This study explored the effect of St. John's Wort (SJW) on premenstrual syndrome (PMS) mood symptoms in 30 single women, using a double-blind randomized controlled trial. Participants, selected based on specific criteria and free from certain health conditions, were divided into two groups. The experimental group received 600 mg/day of SJW extract (hypericin), while the control group received a placebo. Over three menstrual cycles, subjects recorded daily PMS symptoms and underwent assessments using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Premenstrual Assessment Form (PAF), and a visual analogue scale (VAS) for unpleasant feelings. The findings revealed no significant differences between the SJW and placebo groups in overall PMS symptoms, BDI scores, or VAS ratings. However, the SJW group showed significant improvement in specific PAF subtypes, including emotional lability, hostility/anger, and impulsivity (p<0.05). The study concludes that SJW may positively affect certain emotional and behavioral aspects of PMS in single women.

Clinical use of Hypericum perforatum (St John's wort) in depression: A meta-analysis; Journal of Affective Disorders, 2017; Link

St John's wort, a herbal remedy endorsed by Traditional Chinese Medicine and widely prescribed in Europe for depression, was evaluated through a meta-analysis of 27 clinical trials involving 3,808 patients. The analysis compared St John's wort's effectiveness and safety to standard SSRIs in treating depression. Findings showed that St John's wort has comparable efficacy in response and remission rates, with significantly lower discontinuation rates and a positive impact on depressive symptoms. However, the studies' short duration (4-12 weeks) limits conclusions about long-term efficacy and safety, especially for severe depression or high suicide risk cases. The conclusion suggests St John's wort as a viable option for mild-to-moderate depression, recommending longer-term studies for further evaluation.

A systematic review of St. John's wort for major depressive disorder; Systematic Reviews, 2016; Link

This systematic review assessed the efficacy and safety of St. John's wort (SJW) in treating Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) compared to placebo and antidepressants. Screening various databases up to November 2014, 35 studies involving 6,993 patients were included. The review found that SJW was more effective than placebo in treating mild and moderate depression, with a higher rate of treatment responders and similar efficacy to antidepressants but with fewer adverse events. However, the evidence was moderate in quality and showed significant heterogeneity, with a lack of data on severe depression. The findings highlight SJW as a viable option for mild and moderate MDD, though caution is advised due to limitations in adverse event reporting and the absence of studies on severe cases.