Is St. John's Wort Effective For Depression?

Brent Bauer, M.D., Mayo

Question: Is St. John's wort effective for depression?

Answer: So St. John's wort has been around for a long period of time, and it actually does seem to work. There's been a number of different studies, and especially for mild to moderate depression I think it's very clear that it does have some beneficial effects. Maybe even for severe depression -- that's still somewhat debated, but overall most of the studies have been very positive in suggesting that it can be helpful. Of course, the critical thing with St. John's wort is to recognize it interferes with a lot of prescription medications. So there's a real caveat to be careful with St. John's wort and not mix it with your prescription drugs unless your physician tells you it's okay to do so.

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