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St. John's Wort

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Oct 28, 2020.

What are other common names?

  • Hypericum perforatum
  • Hypericum
  • Amber
  • Amber Touch-and-Heal
  • Barbe de Saint-Jean
  • Chase-Devil
  • Chasse-diable
  • Demon Chaser
  • Esbericum
  • Fuga Daemonum
  • Goatweed
  • Hardhay
  • Herbe Aux Fées
  • Herbe Aux Mille Vertus
  • Herbe Aux Piqûres
  • Herbe de la Saint-Jean
  • Herbe de Saint Éloi
  • Herbe du Charpentier
  • Herbe Percée
  • Herbe à la Brûlure
  • Herbe à Mille Trous
  • Hierba de San Juan
  • Hypereikon
  • Hyperforat
  • Hyperici Herba
  • Hyperiforce
  • John's Wort
  • Kira
  • Klamath Weed
  • LI 160
  • Millepertuis
  • Neuroplant
  • Psychotonin
  • Rosin Rose
  • Saynt Johannes Wort
  • Sedariston
  • SJW
  • St John Wort
  • St John's Wort
  • St. John Wort
  • St. John's Wort
  • STEI 300
  • Tipton Weed
  • Tipton's Weed
  • WS 5573
  • Ze 117

What is this product used for?

St. John's wort is used by some people to help with low mood and to reduce anxiety. Others use it to help with symptoms of premenstrual syndrome or menopause; cravings; and signs of withdrawal from alcohol, smoking, or other substances. Some people believe it helps treat infections and helps heal wounds.

What are the precautions when taking this product?

  • Always check with your doctor before you use a natural product. Some products may not mix well with other drugs or natural products.

  • This product interferes with MANY drugs. It reduces the effectiveness of many drugs. It increases side effects of some drugs. Talk with your doctor before you start using this product.

  • Be sure to tell your doctor that you take this product if you are scheduled for surgery or tests.

  • You may get sunburned more easily while using this product. Avoid sun, sunlamps, and tanning beds. Use sunscreen and wear clothing and eyewear that protects you from the sun.

  • Do not use this product if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant soon. Use birth control you can trust while taking this product.

  • Do not breastfeed while taking this product.

  • Avoid beer, wine, and mixed drinks (alcohol) while taking this product.

  • Take extra care if you are at a high risk for infection. This includes people who have had a transplant, are on chemo, or have an autoimmune disease.

  • This product may cause you to be sleepy. Take extra care driving and doing tasks that you need to be alert for.

  • Take extra care and check with your doctor if you have:

    • Heart problems

    • Cancer

    • HIV

    • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

    • Mental issues like Alzheimer disease, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia

    • Low mood

    • Seizures

What should I watch for?

  • Stomach pain or cramps

  • Hard stools

  • Dry mouth

  • Feeling dizzy

  • Feeling tired

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Sensitivity to sunlight

  • Rash

  • Itching

  • Restlessness

  • Irritability

When do I need to call the doctor?

  • Signs of a very bad reaction. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat. Go to the ER right away.

  • Very bad throwing up

  • Very bad loose stools

  • Very bad headache

  • Not able to think clearly or change in thinking

Where can I learn more?

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

Last Reviewed Date


Consumer information use

This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your healthcare provider. Only your healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to provide advice that is right for you. You should not rely on this information in deciding whether or not to use, or accept your healthcare provider’s advice regarding use of, any natural products or similar treatments, therapies, or life-style choices. This information does not endorse any natural products or similar treatments, therapies, or life-style choices as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information. It does NOT include all information about natural products, possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to you. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about your health and treatment options.


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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.