Are you struggling with fibromyalgia and wondering if St. John’s wort can help you?
St. John’s wort is a popular herb that has medicinal qualities and has been used as a natural remedy. Fibromyalgia patients share that this herb may help reduce depression and improve sleep. However, St. John’s wort can interact with medications and has side effects, so you must consult your doctor before using it and check with your pharmacist.
What can St. John’s wort do?
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) explains that St. John’s wort has been popular for centuries. The herb has mainly been used to treat depression, improve mood and increase sleep. It is available in several forms including a liquid extract, tea, tablets and capsules.
Fibromyalgia patients have turned to this herb to help them fight depression and to improve the quality of their sleep. It has some similarities to other natural treatments for fibromyalgia such as the SAM-e supplement. These types of treatments offer an alternative for patients who cannot or will not take prescription drugs.
Warnings about St. John’s wort
Although St. John’s wort is a popular remedy, it is not a perfect fit for every patient and has several warnings associated with its use. One of the biggest concerns is the herb’s ability to interact with other medications. For example, St. John’s wort should not be taken with other antidepressants because this can cause a dangerous rise in serotonin levels. You also do not want to take this herb with oral contraceptives, blood thinners, stimulants and other drugs.
You have to talk to your doctor and pharmacist to make sure your medications cannot interact with St. John’s wort. The herb has some side effects such as an increased sensitivity to the sun, but they tend to be mild. Nevertheless, it is important to proceed with caution as you try natural remedies.
How to take St. John’s wort
St. John’s wort can be found as a tea and liquid extract, but it is also sold in tablets and capsules. Many fibromyalgia patients prefer the tea and liquid extract because it is easier to take and reduces the number of pills they have to swallow every day. Your doctor should help you identify the best type for you take. In addition, many medical experts recommend that you take St. John’s wort at mealtime to reduce the possibility of stomach issues.
You may see recommendations such as taking 300 mg of extract three times a day. Although this is common advice, it is important to consult a doctor and find the right dosage for you. You may need less or more of the herb to treat your symptoms.
Some patients have made their own St. John’s wort teas by taking several tablespoons of the dried herb and steeping it in boiling water. It is crucial that the herbs you use be standardized, clean and tested, so you can reduce reactions.
St. John’s wort is a powerful herb that research has shown can help several medical conditions. However, it can also interact with prescription drugs and has some side effects. You must talk to your doctor before starting this natural treatment to avoid possible health issues.