The herbal supplement St. John's wort is unlikely to ease symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), according to a new study. The study, published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, is the first to scientifically evaluate St. John's wort as a treatment for IBS. The herb is used to treat depression.
Since antidepressants are commonly used to treat IBS, researchers wanted to see if St. John's wort might also treat IBS. "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 researcher Yuri Saito, MD, MPH, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "Unfortunately, our study showed that St. John's wort was not successful in helping IBS patients."
WebMD, by Jennifer Warner, 1/7/10