An Informative Comparison Between St. John’s Wort And 5-HTP

An Informative Comparison Between St. John’s Wort And 5-HTP

According to data from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, an average of 6.8 million Americans experience GAD every year. That’s about 3% of all American adults. While people can be prone to anxiety no matter what age they are, on average, the onset is usually at 31.

It’s interesting to note that women are more susceptible to the condition than men. Using 5-HTP or 5-hydroxytryptamine and St. John’s wort may be helpful in relieving anxiety symptoms.

Before supplementing with either 5-HTP or St. John’s Wort you should consult your Doctor first.

St. John’s Wort vs 5-HTP


5-HTP is a metabolic precursor and intermediate to serotonin— a critical neurotransmitter. Serotonin is responsible for mood regulation and sleep patterns. It can even possibly improve your anxiety levels.

Taking 5-HTP as a supplement can be helpful towards elevating serotonin levels. While the substance has not yet been thoroughly studied in terms of treating depression, it may have some effective antidepressant properties and it can also be a potential anxiety treatment.

doctor consult women

Precautions and Sources

5-HTP can be procured as a supplement. It is generally sourced from seeds of an African plant. The substance is also naturally-produced by the body as tryptophan. This amino acid is commonly found in some foods such as chicken, turkey, sunflower seeds, pumpkin and milk.

You can choose to take the substance 3 times a day in its 50-mg dosage. However, certain safety concerns have been raised, particularly the fact that it may cause toxicity to the liver and the brain in some people. It might also trigger a serious condition known as eosinophilia-myalgia.

If you’re considering the idea of using 5-HTP, it is best to consult your health provider first to get appropriate advice and guidance.

St. John’s Wort

St. John’s wort is a perennial flowering herb that belongs to the genus Hypericum. It has been a fixture in traditional and herbal medicine for centuries and was brought by the first settlers to the US.

Today, it now grows in almost every region of North America. Its flowers are usually dried and powdered to be used in treating a variety of mood issues and disorders and even anxiety. In certain regions of Europe, some doctors recommend the use of the plant even more than prescription medicines in the treatment of depression.

st johns wort flower

Active Components

While 5-HTP serves as the precursor of a known neurotransmitter, what St. John’s Wort does is exert action through flavonoids, which are naturally-occurring compounds. They are known for a variety of recognized effects including inflammation reduction as well as blood vessel wall strengthening.

While it isn’t fully understood yet how it works as a relief to anxiety, the use of the plant as a supplement may involve inhibiting the breakdown of a number of neurotransmitters.


St. John’s wort supplements are available in tablets, capsules, and tincture and can be typically sourced from most local health food shops. Usually considered safe, you just have to choose the extracts that are standardized to ensure that differences will be minimized among batches.

The supplement may also interact with other prescription drugs as in the case of blood thinners, antidepressants, antiviral drugs, and heart medicines.

It is best to consult with your doctor first before taking the supplement to ensure that it is indeed beneficial for your current Health situation.

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