St. John’s wort for mental balance: Caution is advised when the sun is shining

Natural mood enhancer St. John's wort: Be careful in the sun
Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay, Silviarita

St. John’s wort is considered to have a mood-enhancing and psychologically balancing effect. It is available in the form of capsules without a prescription in drugstores and pharmacies. One point is important: Anyone who takes St. John’s wort should pay attention to skin protection, especially in the sunny season.

Many people rely on over-the-counter, plant-based remedies for mental balance. This also includes preparations with the active ingredient St. John’s wort. However, caution is advised here when interacting with the sun.

St. John’s wort makes skin more sensitive to light

“Anyone who takes St. John’s wort to improve mood must be careful when going out in the sun because this can cause photodamage to the skin. “You then quickly get a sunburn or red spots,” explains Dr. Gernot Langs, Medical Director of the Schön Klinik Bad Bramstedt.

The reason for this: St. John’s wort increases the skin’s sensitivity to light, and when exposed to sunlight, it can lead to so-called phototoxic reactions with itching, pain or burning. “That’s why you should always wear a lot of sun protection,” advises Langs.

Sonnencreme bei Stiftung Warentest & Öko-Test: Alle Testsieger

St. John’s wort as a natural mood enhancer

St. John’s wort works primarily through ingredients such as hypericin – this is the phototoxic substance – and hyperforin and influences neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which regulate mood and emotions. It is therefore considered a natural antidepressant and is also said to help with anxiety and sleep disorders. Since St. John’s wort can interact with other medications, you should discuss its use with a doctor beforehand.

St. John's wort has long been considered a natural antidepressant
St. John’s wort has long been considered a natural antidepressant

Caution is advised, among other things, with antidepressants, blood thinners, cardiovascular and HIV medications, immunosuppressants and when taking the contraceptive pill.

Also be careful with St. John’s wort oil

St. John’s wort is used externally in the form of St. John’s wort oil as a natural healing oil for injured skin. Here, too, you should be careful when sunbathing – especially if you are fair-skinned or have skin diseases.

Johanniskraut im Test: Sieger bei Stiftung Warentest und Öko-Test

Read more on Techzle\.com:

  • Sunscreen for children in the test: All test winners from 2022 to 2024
  • 5 sunscreen rules: How useful are they?
  • St. John’s wort and its effects – that’s what you should know

Recent Articles

Related Stories