2020 may be in the rearview mirror but mounting data reveals that its effects have lingered, with alcohol misuse rising right alongside the rate of anxiety, stress, and depression—impacts, we should note, that have disproportionately struck women and people of color.
While tension, stress and the blues can be relieved through a solid commitment to lifestyle changes—more exercise, better sleep, a nutritious diet, and healthy coping mechanisms—sometimes we need additional support.
St. John’s Wort Benefits
This is where St. John’s Wort may come in handy. An herbal supplement derived from Hypericum perforatum—a flowering plant whose yellow flowers were said to have bloomed for the first time around St. John the Baptist’s birthday—St. John’s Wort has been used medicinally for centuries (as in, it dates back to the 1st century AD). Once believed to be imbued with medicinal powers, ancient Greeks called upon the herb to alleviate kidney problems, heal wounds, calm nervous disorders and more.†
In our modern era, St. John’s Wort has been researched extensively; it’s also become one of the most popular herbal supplements since hitting the U.S. market in the 1990s. Here are four benefits of the timeless remedy—and four ways to take it.
1. May help promote a positive mood
A 2016 review of studies demonstrates that St. John’s Wort may help encourage a brighter outlook. While researchers aren’t entirely clear on why this may be, scientists suggest that a handful of St. John’s Wort’s active ingredients—such as hyperforin, adhyperforin and hypericin—might be associated with these benefits, in that they seem to impact the levels of key neurotransmitters, which act to regulate mood and perspective.†
Take it in…a liquid extract. Oregon’s Wild Harvest Organic St. John’s Wort contains 1000mg of fresh, organic St. John’s Wort flower buds per serving. It’s also non-GMO and gluten-free.
2. Naturally encourages mental and emotional well-being
Your mental and emotional well-being determines a great deal in your life, from the quality of your interpersonal relationships to your productivity and self-confidence. St. John’s Wort may organically inspire balance and wellness in these areas.†
Take it in…a vegetarian capsule. Gaia Herbs’ St. John’s Wort helps you “stay feeling sunny” by providing 1,350 of St. John’s Wort flower buds and tops and 2.7 mg of Hypericins—a dose consistent with that used in published research for offering nervous system support to help with emotional health.† These vegan, liquid phyto-caps are both a cinch to take and, like all of the quality products listed here, are free of heavy metals and dairy.
Irritability. Vaginal dryness. Mood swings. Sexual disinterest. The symptoms associated with menopause can surely be unpleasant but, in addition to critical lifestyle changes, women may find support by taking St. John’s Wort. Listed as one of the most prevalent herbal therapies for menopausal symptoms by the Women’s Health Network, St. John’s Wort has been found to help with psychological effects of this transition in time and improve women’s sense of sexual wellness.†
Take it in…an herbal tea. Celebration Herbals Organic St. John’s Wort Tea supplies a healthy amount of the prized herb—and warmth and comfort to boot.
The vasomotor symptoms associated with perimenopause and post-menopause—hormonal shifts that occur before menopause (which is defined as the absence of menstruation for a full year) and after—include night sweats, hot flashes and hot flushes, and are often met with agitation and even anxiety by many women. While a set of factors place women at greater risk for vasomotor symptoms, such as smoking, obesity and depression, they can also be felt by those with even the healthiest of lifestyles. St. John’s Wort may be just the ticket in providing relief. According to a randomized controlled study published by the National Institutes of Health, the ancient herb was found to be helpful “for the vasomotor symptoms of perimenopausal and/or postmenopausal women.”†
Take it in… Gaia Herbs’ Women’s Balance. In addition to containing St. John’s Wort flower buds, this winning concoction features herbs that naturally promote female hormonal balance, including chaste tree berry, dandelion root and black cohosh—a North American plant that may aid a woman’s body during natural, transitional hormonal states. For if there is one thing that we—as in all of us—can’t get enough of during times of distress, it’s support.