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Consider this before you take St. John's Wort

(KOMO file photo)

St. John's Wort is one of the most popular herbal supplements on the market. Research shows it may help treat mild to moderate depression.

Here's the problem: You can't always trust what's in the bottle.

“A study was done recently that looked at 37 samples of St. John’s Wort and fourteen of them did not have anywhere near what the label said it had in them, in terms of the active ingredient,” said Dr. John Swartzberg, head of the editorial board at the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter.

Dr. Swartzberg points out that St. John's Wort doesn't help with severe depression, anxiety, PMS or bipolar disorder. It can interfere with many other medications.

"If you have mild to moderate depression and you think you need to take something for it, why don't you talk to your doctor and take a drug that you know has been shown to work and has a standardized dose available by prescription,” Swartzberg said.

If you're taking a prescription medication, you should not switch to St. John's Wort on your own. And never combine the two.

More Info: St. John's Wort: What's Really in the Bottle

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