Other Conditions & Exposures

Expert reports about Other Conditions & Exposures


INFORMATION FOR WOMEN WHO USE ST. JOHN'S WORT (HYPERICUM PERFORATUM) DURING PREGNANCY OR BREASTFEEDING

 

What is St. John’s Wort?

Hypericum perforatum, also known as St. John’s Wort, is an herbal product that is used commonly in managing depression, including peri-partum depression, the depressive illness that some women experience before and after giving birth. As an herbal product, H. perforatum can not be sold in stores explicitly for the purpose of treating or preventing a medical condition, as this would not be in line with evidence-based medicine. In the United States, however, due to a law passed during the 1990s, any herbal product may be sold to consumers until it is proven to cause harm. This is the opposite of what happens with a pharmaceutical medication, which must be proven not to cause harm, then must be proven to provide a benefit, before it can be sold. Typically, St. John’s Wort is sold in capsules, purported to provide 300 miligrams of H. perforatum.


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