Have you ever been recommended St. John’s wort for menopause? The symptoms of perimenopause and menopause can be very frustrating. Which include hot flashes or flushes. Which are sensations of strong heat and sweating with a reddening of the face. And these can happen at any time of the day.
According to the Mayo Clinic, experts don’t yet know the exact cause of hot flashes. But it’s probably because changes in reproductive hormones compensate for the hypothalamus, the body’s “thermostat.”
Regardless of why they happen, hot flashes can be extremely annoying. And when they happen overnight, can get in the way of a good night’s sleep. However, fortunately, research has shown promising findings when it comes to treating hot flashes and other perimenopausal symptoms with St. John’s wort.
What is St. John’s wort?
St. John’s wort, or Hypericum Perforatum, is a plant with a yellow flower that is believed to be native to Europe, as well as parts of Asia and Africa. It is so named because the flowers bloom in late June, around the birthday of John the Baptist. Today, this yellow herb is grown and harvested primarily in Australia.
This herb has been used as a holistic remedy for depression and mood-related symptoms such as lethargy, trouble sleeping, and anxiety. It has also been used as a potent anti-inflammatory and it has been researched for its ability to alleviate menopausal symptoms. Could this be the answer we were looking for?
St. John’s wort for hot flashes and menopausal symptoms
St. John’s wort has been used to treat hot flashes after clinical studies have shown some efficacy in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women.
In a 2010 study published in Menopause journal, 100 perimenopausal and postmenopausal women who reported experiencing severe hot flashes participated in a clinical trial in which some were treated with St. John’s wort while others received a placebo for eight weeks.
The researchers collected data based on the frequency, duration, and severity of hot flashes.
The results showed that the group treated with the herbal remedy experienced a significant relief of your symptoms in just four weeks. And even more at the end of the eight-week trial. That’s right, you can get this relief in as little as four weeks.
In other 2009 study Published in the same journal, the researchers studied a group of 47 women who reported experiencing hot flashes three to four times a day. Some received a daily dose of this medicinal herb extract for 12 weeks, while others received a placebo.
The results showed that the group that received the plant extract experienced fewer and less severe hot flashes. As well as an overall better quality of life (based on a quality of life assessment provided by the researchers). Perhaps most interestingly, these women showed a significant improvement in their quality of sleep.
And while hot flashes are a major problem for menopausal women, changes in our hormones are known to cause ravages our mood. There is evidence that St. John’s wort, which has historically been used as an antidepressant, is as effective as certain antidepressant medications such as SSRIs.
Treatment with the use of St. John’s wort was even shown to improve psychological symptoms of menopause in a 1999 study published in Advances in Therapy journal. In the same study, sexual well-being also improved in the group of women who took St. John’s wort.
Is St. John’s Wort Safe To Use?
Due to the way it is metabolized by the liver, St. John’s wort can influence the effectiveness of other drugs. Antidepressants, in particular, can be affected by St. John’s wort. Which can cause a condition called serotonin syndrome, which creates excess serotonin in the body.
It can also interfere with other medications such as oral contraceptives. Heart medications, blood thinners, HIV / AIDS medications, and cough and cold medications, among others.
Since dietary supplements are not regulated in the same way as medications, it is important to be sure to consult with your doctor before starting a program with any new supplements.