St. John’s Wort For Weight Loss

While there are definitely any number of natural remedies for losing weight on the market, the question really becomes how effective are they and how safe are they. The answers to both of those questions would need to be researched carefully before you made any decisions. One thing to also remember, if you happen to be morbidly obese, many of these natural remedies for losing weight are likely not for you. As with any weight loss venture, you need to make sure you talk to your Doctor before you start any program.

One rather controversial herbal product that has a history of actually being used as an anti-depressant, seems to also be another contender in the weight loss arena. St. John’s Wort, also called Hypericum, Klamath Weed, or Goat Weed, has been used for centuries to treat nerve pain, mental disorders, malaria, insect bites, wounds and burns. Amazingly, there are over 370 species of the genus Hypericum worldwide. It was also used by Native American as an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and astringent.

In the twentieth century St. John’s Wort (named for its traditional flowering and harvesting on St. John’s day, June 24th) has more commonly been used to treat depression, anxiety, and/or sleep disorders. The part of the plant used to make preparations is the top of the little yellow flower and is usually used to makes teas and tablets.

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How does St John’s Wort help you lose weight? That’s the funny part – it does and it doesn’t. It seems the herbal remedy itself does not help you lose weight. However, how it makes you feel by improving how you feel about yourself, does cause you to lose weight. Being in a better frame of mind may cause people to eat less. Bottom line is any change in your eating habits after taking St. John’s Wort will have more to do with any psychological improvements and not the herbal remedy.

Here’s the most interesting thing though, there are natural remedies for losing weight on the market that feature St. John’s Wort as the main active ingredient. The way it’s presented implies St. John’s Wort is the key proponent to your anticipated weight loss. It isn’t, and this is a misrepresentation. So once again, do your research before you start taking any natural remedies for losing weight. Also, pay attention to any side-effects that may result from the herbal remedy you are considering.

New research provides support for the use of St. John’s wort extracts in treating major depression. A Cochrane Systematic Review backs up previous research that showed the plant extract is effective in treating mild to moderate depressive disorders.

“Overall, we found that the St. John’s wort extracts tested in the trials were superior to placebos and as effective as standard antidepressants, with fewer side effects,” says lead researcher, Klaus Linde of the Centre for Complementary Medicine in Munich, Germany.

Extracts of the plant Hypericum perforatum, commonly known as St. John’s wort, have long been used in folk medicine to treat depression and sleep disorders. The plant produces a number of different substances that may have anti-depressive properties, but the whole extract is considered to be more effective.

Cochrane Researchers reviewed 29 trials which together included 5,489 patients with symptoms of major depression. All trials employed the commonly used Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression to assess the severity of depression. In trials comparing St. John’s wort to other remedies, not only were the plant extracts considered to be equally effective, but fewer patients dropped out of trials due to adverse effects. The overall picture is complicated, however, by the fact that the results were more favourable in trials conducted in German speaking countries, where St. John’s extracts have a long tradition and are often prescribed by doctors.

Despite the favourable findings for St. John’s wort, researchers are anxious not to make generalisations about the plant’s use as an anti-depressant and recommend consulting a doctor in the first instance, especially as the extracts can sometimes affect the actions of other beneficial drugs.

“Using a St. Johns wort extract might be justified, but products on the market vary considerably, so these results only apply to the preparations tested,” says Linde.

St. John’s Wort For Weight Loss

Story Source: Materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell

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