Hypericum Perforatum Side Effects

The Hypericum perforatum plant produces attractive yellow flowers.

Hypericum perforatum, commonly known as St. John’s Wort, is an herbal remedy used to treat depression. The plant grows perennially and exhibits bright yellow flowers in the spring. Hypericum perforatum is a traditional herbal medicine in its native land of Europe. According to MayoClinic.com, St. John’s Wort is proven effective against mild-to-moderate major depression. Unlike some prescription antidepressants, St. John’s Wort exhibits few side effects.


Hypericum perforatum supplements may cause allergic reactions, according to MayoClinic.com. These include, but are not limited to, skin rash and itching. Go Ask Alice, a Columbia University website, also cites allergic reactions as a possible side effect, but does not specify what type.

Sunlight Sensitivity

Hypericus perforatum also causes sunlight sensitivity in some people. Go Ask Alice advises users to use sunscreen while taking the supplement. Alternatively, wear protective clothing and/or stay in the shade.

Other Side Effects

Some users of St. John’s Wort have reported gastrointestinal issues including upset stomach. Others reported side effects such as dizziness, fatigue, headache, restlessness and dry mouth. Consult a physician in cases of severe side effects. If necessary, alter dosage to minimize side effects while maintaining benefits.

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