One of Europe's best kept secrets has now crossed the pond and is just as popular in the United States. With clinical depression reaching epidemic levels, it can't come too soon. It's estimated that 10% of the population suffers from depression at any given time. In the past, people would either just live with the crushing symptoms of this mental disorder, or they would go on antidepressants that could potentially come with an unwelcome host of side effects. However, there is an herbal remedy that has been used already for years in countries like Germany. St. John's Wort tea acts in a similar way in the body to other prescriptions, but naturally and without as many potential side effects.
It's no surprise that there is an herb that is able to treat depression in the same way as these other prescription drugs, because many of them are based on plants and natural medicines. However, what is surprising is just how effective one plant can be. The way that St. John's Wort tea acts in the body is by limiting the production of a chemical known as monoamine oxidase. This is produced naturally in the body, but it can sometimes be associated with depression. By limiting its actions, the symptoms of clinical depression, including changes in eating and sleeping habits, a feeling of low self esteem, and general malaise and lethargy, can all be lifted.
If you are taking St. John's Wort tea rather than a supplement in a pill or capsule, you will need to self medicate about three times per day for the best effects. Although you could make your own tea with dried flowers, it's far easier to just use a prepared bag that is already measured out, and then steep this for several minutes in boiling water. According to clinical studies in Europe, drinking the tea for several weeks can make just as much of a difference in the prevalence of your symptoms as using prescription antidepressants, in many cases.
There are a few side effects that have been associated with regular use of St. John's Wort tea, but nothing that compares to the side effects that you might experience otherwise. An increased sensitivity to light is common in those with fair skin, for example. To learn more about any potential dangers or side effects, it's a good idea to speak to your doctor before beginning the continuous use of any herbal remedy. There may also be adverse reactions if you combine the use of this tea with alcohol or other drugs, so these are best avoided.