Démystifions le millepertuis

theSt. John's Wort is a plant belonging to the Hypericaceae family, the yellow flowers of which contain many active substances, such as hypericin and hyperforin. St. John's Wort has long been used as a herbal remedy for a variety of conditions. Nowadays, St. John's Wort is best known for its use in depression. Let's learn more about this dietary supplement.

St. John's Wort and Depression

Several studies have evaluated the effectiveness of St. John's Wort in relieving symptoms of mild to moderate depression, as well as in major depression. In summary, some studies show that St. John's Wort may be effective in mild to moderate depression, but not in major depression.

Released in 2017, a meta-analysis of 27 clinical trials involving a total of 3,808 participants compared St. John's Wort with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a type of antidepressant. In patients with depression, St. John's Wort had a comparable response and remission rate, but a lower discontinuation / discontinuation rate compared to SSRIs. In contrast, the long-term efficacy and safety of St. John's Wort remains uncertain as the included studies all had a duration of 4 to 12 weeks. In addition, this meta-analysis cannot determine whether St. John's Wort would be beneficial in severe depression. In conclusion, St. John's Wort appears to be comparable in effectiveness and safety to SSRIs in mild to moderate depression. However, longer studies are needed. (see article:Anxious Here are some tips to reduce your anxiety levelé)

Possible side effects of St. John's Wort

St. John's Wort can cause different side effects. These effects include photosensitivity (increased sensitivity of the skin to sunlight), dry mouth, gastrointestinal symptoms (eg, constipation), dizziness, confusion and fatigue. In addition, St. John's Wort is not recommended for pregnant women.

Possible interactions of St. John's Wort with medications

St. John's Wort can interact with many medications, such as antidepressants, oral contraceptives, certain heart medications, certain HIV medications, certain cancer medications, certain anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) and some statins (eg. : simvastatin). These interactions can cause a decrease in the effectiveness of the drug or toxic reactions. Therefore, it is recommended that you speak with a healthcare professional about any dietary supplements you are consuming.

Finally, depression can be a serious illness. If you think you are suffering from depression, see a healthcare professional.


  1. https://www.merckmanuals.com/fr-ca/professional/sujets-sp%C3%A9ciaux/compl%C3%A9ments-alimentaires/millepertuis
  2. https://www.merckmanuals.com/fr-ca/accueil/sujets-particuliers/compl%C3%A9ments-alimentaires/millepertuis
  3. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/st-johns-wort
  4. Ng, Q. X., Venkatanarayanan, N., & Ho, C. Y. (2017). Clinical use of Hypericum perforatum (St John's wort) in depression: A meta-analysis.Journal of affective disorders,210, 211221. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2016.12.048
  5. https://herbierduquebec.gouv.qc.ca/plante/millepertuis-du-canada


Article written by:

Marie-Noël Marsan, Nutritionist


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