St. John's Wort Extract
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st. john's wort
Product Name: St. John's Wort Extract
Botanical Name: Hypericum perforatum L.
Plant Part Used: Herb & Flowers
Effective Ingredient: Hypericins
CAS No: 548-04-9
Molecular Weight: 504
It has been used for centuries to calm the nerves and treat depression. It also has been used to dress wounds, heal deep cuts, smooth burns and ease the pain of neuralgias. Taken internally, it has been used for ulcers and gastritis. An infusion of the herb has also been used as an expectorant for bronchitis, a diuretic for the kidneys and an easing agent for menstrual cramps.
St John's wort is widely known as a herbal treatment for depression. In some countries, such as Germany, it is commonly prescribed for mild depression, especially in children, adolescents, and where cost is a concern.  A report in the Cochrane Review states,
The available evidence suggests that the hypericum extracts tested in the included trials a) are superior to placebo in patients with major depression; b) are similarly effective as standard antidepressants; and c) have fewer side effects than standard antidepressants. There are two issues which complicate the interpretation of our findings: 1) While the influence of precision on study results in placebo-controlled trials is less pronounced in this updated version of our review compared to the previous version (Linde 2005a) , results from more precise trials still show smaller effects over placebo than less precise trials. 2) Results from German-language countries are considerably more favourable for hypericum than trials from other countries. 
Standardized extracts are generally available over the counter, though in some countries (such as Ireland) a prescription is required. Extracts are usually in tablet or capsule form, and also in teabags and tinctures. Herbalists are more likely to use a fluid extract than a tincture.