St. John's wort

Photo courtesy NIH

Nearly 20-million Americans suffer from depression. Depression can be treated in a number of ways, most commonly by the use of anti-depressant drugs, such as Prozac, Paxil, Elavil and Nardil. The possible side effects of these drugs include sleeplessness, headaches, gastrointestinal disturbances and changes in sexual desire or activity. A 1994 study, reported in the British Medical Journal, indicated that St. John's wort was about as effective as standard anti-depressants -- better than sugar pill placebos in treating mild to moderate depression.

St. John's wort, and the effectiveness of the herb, are frequently the subject of various news and media outlets. More and more folks around the globe are interested in what St. John's Wort can do for them. Many people have heard of the drug, but aren't sure what it is, what it's used for or what it's side effects are.

In this article, you'll learn about St. John's wort, who uses it and why.