- Do St. John's wort supplements help? Taking a supplement with the right type and amount of St. John's wort extract appears to be as effective in treating major depression of mild to moderate severity as standard antidepressant drugs, but with fewer side effects. St. John's wort is unlikely to help people who aren't truly depressed (See What It Does).
- How much St. John's wort should I take? Clinical trials suggest that an effective dose is 900 mg per day of a concentrated extract standardized to at least 0.3% hypericin and/or 1% to 3% hyperforin (see ConsumerTips™).
- Which St. John's wort product is best? Choose carefully, because 60% of the St. John's wort supplements selected for testing by ConsumerLab.com did not contain expected amounts of one or more key plant chemicals. There was enormous range in these amounts, indicating that you could get, for example, as much as 280 times more hyperforin from one product than from another. Four products were Approved by ConsumerLab.com, three of which are good choices and one of which was CL's Top Pick. Use our Results Table to see which products were, or were not, Approved, and to compare ingredients, test results, and prices.
- Don't get hurt! Safety and side effects of St. John's wort: Although generally safe, St. John's wort can cause a range of side effects. It may cause mania in people with bipolar disorder and it may increase sensitivity to ultraviolet light, causing unexpected sunburn. Most importantly, St. John's wort can interact with a wide range of medications. See Concerns and Cautions for more information.