Information about St. John’s Wort for School Project
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Reba
Posted on: March 27, 2007

I’m doing a project for my honor’s chemistry class. I think I’m going to do it on how one herb and a medicine (man-made) compare. I was considering using St. John’s wort and another antidepressant drug. I need good sources of information and stuff and I found your sight. I was wondering if you could help me. I would like to know the side effects, the chemical properties (if you know them), other benefits, etc. of St. John’s Wort.

St. John’s wort is a very interesting herb to choose for your project, both because of its effectiveness in treating depression without negative side effects, and because of the recently discovered information that St. John’s wort stimulates a liver enzyme that increases the metabolism of certain prescription drugs, resulting in the drugs being available in the body for a shorter time.

We have answered most of your questions about St. John’s wort in previous Q&A items. Please see our website . Choose Q&A from the main menu, then enter "john" for the search. The item "St. Johnswort and Anti-HIV Proteases" discusses the issue of increased metabolism of drugs with the use of St. John’s wort.

The scientific name for St. John’s wort is Hypericum perforatum. You can look up the chemical properties on the internet using this name.

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