ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Why (Or Why Not) Drink St. John's Wort Tea

Updated on November 4, 2007
Heeeeeerrrrrreeeeee's Johnny!
Heeeeeerrrrrreeeeee's Johnny!

St. John's Wort is one of the most popular medicinal herbs used around the world, especially as a natural anti-depressant. It certainly has one of the most peculiar names. "Wort" is from the Old English "wyrt", which simply means "plant" or "herb". How did it get such a funny name? If you rub the petals, a blood red stain is produced. This was thought to be the blood of John the Baptist, who was beheaded by King Herod at the whim of his daughter. St. John's Wort is also in full bloom on St. John's Day, the Catholic name for Midsummer's day, the longest day of the year. As the herb gives kindly effects, so it was thought that it must have had close association with a saint.

Obviously, St. John's Wort has been growing long before Christianity and been used centuries before Christ was ever opened His big mouth. There is some theories that St. John's Wort might actually have been the mythical "eye of newt" that was supposedly the favorite ingredient of witches' brews. Some St. John's Wort specimens do have small eye-like markings. When Christianity became the norm and pagans were seen as being from the devil, just being able to identify medicinal herbs could get you killed.

Medicinal Uses

The good old Greeks knew a good wort when they saw one, and have been recorded using St. John's Wort to cast out evil spirits. Now, if you've ever had or are struggling with major depression, evil spirits are a walk in the park by comparison. Just like that line in Beetlejuice, a depressed person can say proudly, "I've seen The Exorcist about a hundred times and it keeps getting funnier every time I see it!" The Greeks called the herb "hypericum". Just not as catchy as St. John's Wort, is it? But the scientific name for St. John's Wort is Hypericum perforatum. The herb was usually soaked in wine.

The Greeks also knew their Hypericum could help fight fevers, clean out wounds and help heal minor burns. And recent scientists have proven that it has antiviral and antibacterial properties. It also is thought to help serotonin linger in the brain. Depression and some forms of headache are thought to be greatly affected by imbalances and extremely low levels of serotonin.

Today, St. John's Wort comes in many forms, including ready made tea bags and loose leaf teas. Often, they will be mixed with valerian, another well-known herb that works well on minor depression and sleep problems associated with emotional upset. In Germany, St. John's Wort is a prescribed medication. It comes in tinctures, ointments, bags of loose herbs, capsules and tea bags.

As A Tea

But we don't care about it's medicinal past - how is it as a tea? If you drink tea for the sheer pleasure of it, you will greatly disappointed by the taste of St. John's Wort teas. Quite frankly, they taste like dirt. If you are only interested in the medicinal benefits, then expect it to taste like medicine.

In order to get the medicinal benefits, you are to drink 1-3 cups a day for about six weeks, then give your body (and taste buds) a break for two weeks, then start again. Brown sugar or honey can make it almost tolerable.

WARNINGS

St. John's Wort is powerful medicine. Before you drink St. John's Wort tea, ask your doctor's permission first. St. John's Wort has negative side effects for people on necessary medications. Do not take St. John's Wort in any way shape or form if you are on:

  • antidepressants (they will cancel each other out. I'm not kidding.)
  • blood-thinning medications like Wafarin
  • oral contraceptives
  • Loperamide
  • Digoxin
  • immunosuppressive drugs
  • asthma medications
  • blood-pressure medicines

Does Wort Work?

If you are in the clear, then drink only one cup for a few days until your body adjusts to it. You might wind up with cramps and diarrhea otherwise. If you break out into a funny rash, get a sudden headache or nausea, stop drinking the tea and call your doctor. I told you this was powerful medicine. Don't experiment with it.

But how well does it work on depression, as it's highly touted to, even in magazines such as Psychology Today?

Well, it depends on the kind of depression you have. Unfortunately, the word "depression" is used as an umbrella term from all kinds of sad emotions as well as very serious, life-threatening illnesses.

If you do not have a history of depression the disease, or have NEVER been diagnosed with depression, but just feel low, sad, blue and listless due to bad news or sudden life changes, then St. John's Wort might help for you (emphasis on the might).

Personal Testimony

This might sound as if I sniff at St. John's Wort, but I don't. Before I was medically diagnosed with major depression, I did try St. John's Wort tea. One day, as I was drinking a cup, my alcoholic roommate suddenly went into a maniacal rant. The fact that I didn't kill him or even raise my voice means I respect St. John's Wort tea very highly. It's too bad my now ex-roommate never tried it.

How To Tell If You Have Depression. Film By TatesLikeChicken07

Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)