St John’s Wort for Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. This affects the lining along the small joints in the body and causes pain in different body parts.

Arthritis develops when the shock-absorbing cartilage that normally cushions your bone is not able to function normally. This can be due to a wearing down of the cartilage over the years or inflammation in the joint. With its normal cushion impaired, the joint can swell or become hard to move. Depending on which joints arthritis affects, the disease can make it difficult to walk, open jars, or do other everyday tasks.

Arthritis symptoms can keep you from going about your everyday activities. The pain and inflammation may still persist despite medical intervention. herbal medicines may be very helpful in this case, they can be found in health food shops and chemists, but if you consult a medical herbal practitioner you’ll probably be prescribed a mixture of herbs, research suggests that St. John’s Wort may actually help ease arthritis pain.

St. John’s Wort refers to any one of a number of species of plants in the genus Hypericum. It is a perennial herb originating in Europe that can now be found throughout the world. An extract of the herb is prepared using the leaves and flowers of the plant. St. John’s Wort has been to known to act as an antidepressant drug and reduce inflammation and pain. Read about the benefits, dosage and studies of St. John’s Wort.

St John’s wort is a natural alternative treatment for mild depression, because of its mood-elevating properties but its commonly linked to people with arthritis and rheumatic disorders. It’s taken as a dietary supplement, so you need to be cautious about its quality purchase only a high-grade, trusted brand. Better yet, talk to a naturopathic doctor or someone at a health food store to help you decide which is best for you.

Depending on the preparation, St. John’s wort can be taken in any of the following ways:

  • 300 mg three times a day for up to six weeks;
  • 250 mg twice a day for six weeks;
  • 300-600 mg three times a day for six weeks;
  • 350 mg three times a day for eight weeks;
  • 300-600 mg three times a day for up to 26 weeks;
  • 400 mg twice a day for six weeks.

St. John’s Wort should be avoided in patients with suicidal ideation, in transplantation patients, and in patients with bleeding disorders. It should be used with caution in patients with diabetes, and mania or hypomania (bipolar disorder). Because it is metabolized in the liver by CYP 450 enzymes, St. John’s Wort can interact with many medications, resulting in changes in levels of these drugs, including anticonvulsants, warfarin, antidepressants, and oral contraceptives. If you are considering St. John’s Wort, you should talk to your doctor before taking it.