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St. John's Wort Not Effective Treatment for ADHD (Interview with Wendy Weber, ND, PhD, MPH)
St. John

(June 10, 2008 - Insidermedicine) The herbal supplement St. John's Wort does not appear to be beneficial for children and adolescents suffering from ADHD, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Here are some facts about St. John's Wort:

•    It is an herb, the flowering tops of which are used to prepare teas and tablets containing concentrated extracts.

•    Typically, it is used to treat mental disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and sleep problems.

•    Scientific research looking into the effectiveness of the herb for one of its most common uses – depression – has been mixed.

Researchers from Bastyr University in Kenmore randomly selected 54 children aged 6 to 17 with ADHD to received treatment with St. John's Wort or a placebo. The children took 300 mg of a standardized extract or the herb three times a day for eight weeks.

We had a chance to speak with Dr. Wendy Weber from Bastyr University, who explained why she and her colleagues chose to study St. John's wort as a potential treatment for ADHD.

There was no difference in two groups of children with respect to changes in ADHD symptoms or the specific symptoms of hyperactivity and inattention from the beginning to the end of the study. In addition, similar proportions of children in each group were rated as having substantial improvements in their symptoms of ADHD via another rating scale.

Today's research demonstrates that St. John's Wort, a popular herbal remedy for ADHD, may actually not be effective for the management of the symptoms of this condition.

For Insidermedicine in Depth, I'm Dr. Susan Sharma.