Humor against anxiety and depression - St. John’s Wort

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St. John’s Wort: natural ingredient of Humor

St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) acts synergistically on depression through various processes such as blocking monoamine oxidase type A (MAO-A) and catechol - metiltransferasi (COMT), which implies an increased activity of the nervous mediators having a stimulating action. Both of these actions are due to quercetin, its aglycone altetraidroxantone producing a marked antidepressant effect.

St. John’s Wort may act against premature ejaculation due to the possibility that its active ingredients have to inhibit the reuptake of serotonin, norepinephrine and GABA at the synaptic level.
It is also now established that the prolonged presence of these mediators at the synaptic level is expressed with a strong antidepressant activity. The hypericin can also resettle in the serotonin receptor sites on the nervous nucleus covering the role, even in this situation, of antidepressant.

Hypericum perforatum L. is a herb which are used flowering tops, it is equipped with antidepressant and mood stabilizer. The active ingredients are compounds derived from naphtho diantronics called “hypericin” which include hypericin, pseudohypericin, the cycle pseudohypericin, the isoipericina, the protoipericina.
Are also present flavonoid glycosides, bi flavones, procyanidins felil propanes (in small quantities), acyl flora glucianols hyperforin.

Main components

The main components of hypericum are: simple flavonoids (hyperoside, rutin) dimers (biapigenine) and diantrachinoni (hypericin, pseudohypericin), tannins catechinic, proantocianidine, carotenoids, essential oil.

Principal activities

St. John’s Wort is antidepressant, sedative, digestive, antispasmodic, antimicrobial, (oil) healing, anti-inflammatory.

Officinale use

The use of hypericum officinale is indicated for mild and moderate depression, anxious moments of a different nature, nocturnal incontinence; (oil) Dermal redness, bruising, burns.


St. John’s Wort: natural ingredient of Humor

Clinical uses

The antidepressant action of hypericum has been confirmed by multiple tests carried out by comparison with both placebo and with antidepressants known as sertraline, fluoxetine and the laparoxetine.
The results were so encouraging that in Germany, St. John’s wort has been approved by the pharmacopoeia as a method of treatment of anxiety and depression.

The effectiveness of hypericum is comparable to that of the imipramine emaprotiline. It was performed a meta-analysis of 23 randomized trials with hypericum which involved a total of 1757 patients with mild to moderate depression.
The conclusion was that the hypericum extract, assessed after 2-4 weeks is superior to placebo and as effective as traditional antidepressants.

The mechanism of action of Hypericum perforatum is that of inhibition of the reuptake of serotonin in the post-synaptic inhibition of the uptake of norepinephrine and dopamine and bond (in vitro) with the GABA receptor (GABA is the gama amino butyric acid and is an inhibitory neurotransmitter).

Pharmacological activities

St. John’s Wort is known in the medical field since the Middle Ages and in that time it was already used as an excellent remedy for the treatment of sleep disorders, anxiety, melancholy and restlessness. St. John’s Wort is also known for its soothing and anti-inflammatory characteristic so much so that its oil is still currently used for external use in burns or redness in various forms, are also attributed the quality hypotensive, antispasmodic and digestive.

It was called “St John’s wort” but on the derivation of this name there is more than one interpretation, that of Biblical derivation that wanted him as a food preferred by St. John or the more common from the fact that its beautiful yellow flowers sprouting in the summer, were collected in celebration of the festivities in honor of St. John. The proven interest from the scientific disciplines today is due to the increased possibility of use of standardized extracts of St. John’s wort in the treatment of states of modification of mood and also as a natural cure for depression mild and limited.

The extract of Hypericum perforatum in question in the present medicine and who is given the results of clinical research and pharmacological, is the extract titled to 0.3% in total hypericin, such as the one that is located in Humor. It is a total extract derived from the whole plant, the harvest of which is carried out during the flowering period and that is verified and guaranteed in active ingredient content.

Other properties attributable to hypericum are soothing in nocturnal enuresis, in mood changes during menopause, the seasonal depression and periods of nervous exhaustion. The virtues of hypericum are related to the plant complex is mainly represented by flavonoids such as hypericin. Among the many flavonoids recognized, can be found rutin, quercetin and hyperoside.


St. John’s Wort: natural ingredient of Humor

Pharmacological activities (To be continued ...)

The hyperoside (quercetin-3-galactoside) is however not characteristic of hypericum but it can also be found in different plants which are part of other families, such as the Ericaceae. The dimeric flavonoids are those who favor the yellow color of the flowers, while hypericin attributes the particular staking from red petals to stamens and the edge of the leaves.

Has been also noted a significant content in catechinic tannins (proanthocyanidins), particularly in flowers; substances which, however, are subject to very substantial fluctuations during the course of vegetation. The titration recognized of the extract reported by the German Pharmaco-
poeia is in total hypericin, for which is acknowledged the combination of 1.8 antranoli dimers, polycyclic components at different levels and forms of substitution: depending on the substitution pattern, thus giving origin to pseudohyperi-
cin, respectively, to ’hypericin, to the isoproto and protopseudo-hypericin.

The combination corresponding to each of them in the whole plant, stems from its origin. Studies have been conducted which give evidence of the mutability percentage related to hypericin in accordance the place in the European or Asian origin of the grass. This proves the value of the titration of the extract for ensuring the homogeneity of the pharmacological activity.

Hypericin, currently, despite not being rated as more important in the process of action of hypericin molecule remains relevant to the assay of ’extract. The pattern of action of hypericum is still subject of research and discussion. There are several current theories among which the most plausible argues that hypericum put in place multiple modes of action at the same time.

St. John’s Wort seems capable of increasing serum levels of serotonin, similarly to certain antidepressant medications. The complexity of the method of action of the extract, also determines a weak interdiction of the ’activity of the protein compounds MAO-A and MAO-B, a relevance for GABA receptors and the serotonin reuptake stop that, almost certainly, is the fundamental device of the antidepressant St. John’s wort and is also the neurotransmitter that regulates mood, with consequential increase of the outcomes related to the amount of serotonin usable.

In addition to this, several tests have proved that the extract of hypericum limits the reabsorption of two other neuro receptors called noradrenaline and dopamine that they also possess an important role in depression. St. John’s Wort is considered an important tonic, capable of consolidating the sensory reactivity of the individual and to appear as an important rebalancing of mood.


St. John’s Wort: natural ingredient of Humor

Pharmacological activities (To be continued ...)

As often happens for the active ingredients of natural origin, the result is given by the synergic action of all constituents existing in Humor, though certainly there is a prevalence of someone over the other.
Multiple pharmacological and clinical studies carried out on the plantdemonstrate that St. John’s wort is a plant safe, but it may have some contraindications such as photosensitivity during exposure to sunlight so that, during the period of assimilation is good to avoid exposure to the sun and / or tanning lamps. Must not be used St. John’s wort during pregnancy and lactation.

At therapeutic doses there is no inhibition of MAO (Inhibitors of Mono-Amino-Oxidase, raise the plasma levels of serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine by inhibiting the mono-amino-oxida-
se enzymes that reduce, through a process of oxidation, the concentration blood of these neurotransmitters), even if the hypericin inhibits in vitro.

It is reported by some authors a certain hypotensive action. Not recommended for use during pregnancy, in the absence of specific studies. Are possible photosensitivity reactions and interference with antiretroviral drugs for HIV.
St. John’s Wort can interfere with the metabolism of carbamazepine, quinidine, calcium channel blockers, losartan, steroids, tamoxifen, taxol, digoxin, theophylline, cliclosporina, progestogens, warfarin, fenitorina, tolbutami-
de, digoxin.

Hormonal effects

In particular, it determines a discrete increase in nocturnal production of melatonin. This action promotes restful sleep and a better awakening without disturbing the sleep REM (rapid eye movement) that occurs during a stage of sleep during which the revision occurs and the record of events of the day.

Modulation of the liberation of cytokines

The extract of St. John's wort reduces the formation of interleukin-6 capable of sustaining the release of corticotropin, which is why often connected to depressive manifestations. Outcome calming nervous anxiety and relaxation placed in relation to the intervention of bioflavonoids, hyperforin, procyanidins.