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St. John's wort not effective in treating symptoms related to IBS

Category: General Health

Recent medical testing has discovered that St. John's wort, a widely known herbal remedy for depression, is not an effective treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

While many antidepressants are used to treat IBS, the Mayo Clinic study was the first to examine the success of St. John's wort in managing the syndrome.

Researchers based the study on the fact that several of the neurotransmitters that are in the brain are also in the colon. However, scientists found that the herbal remedy had much less effect in controlling IBS than it does in moderating depression.

"Because people tend to struggle with IBS for several years, patients are really looking for inexpensive, over-the-counter treatments such as St. John's wort," says Dr Yuri Saito, lead author of the research. "Unfortunately, our study showed that St. John's wort was not successful in helping IBS patients."

Saito added that there is no cure for IBS – which is a chronic disorder resulting in painful cramping, abdominal pain and diarrhea – and that studies of alternative treatments are generally lacking.

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