St. john’s wort or hypericum extract is sold as herbal supplement freely. So many companies are formulating it on the basis of extracts used in clinical research trials of this herbal antidepressant supplement in Germany.
Find how the extract of hypericum perforatum is obtained for clinical use and its process of standardization. Germany is the country where hypericum extract is supported with largest number of clinical studies as well as by the prescriptions of doctors. Find its position in Germany especially in widely acclaimed German Commission E Monographs.
Research Grade Hypericum – Alcohol extract of St. John’s Wort:
The active principle of herbs or the main bioactive chemicals can be extracted in several ways. Some are inorganic compound soluble, some are organic compound soluble, whereas some compounds are soluble in both media. Water is the common example of inorganic compound. Alcohol and ether are the common organic compounds.
The St. John’s Wort that is used in clinical research trials is standardized and it is extracted by alcohol. Flowering and leafy part of hypericum plant are dried in sunlight and then dissolved in alcohol. Alcohol soluble phytochemicals are extracted from the plant into the alcohol. The alcohol is filtered.
The alcohol extract of the plant is left open so that alcohol gets evaporated and what we have is the pure extract of the plant without any alcohol. All the herbal research on St. John’s Wort have used the alcohol extract of the .botanical
Other preparations of St. John’s Wort might be useful with beneficial effects but research data is with alcohol extract only. So it is natural that all the preparation in the market have or should alcohol extract to make their preparation standardized.
Medicinally active phytochemicals of St. John’s Wort can be extracted with ether or oil. So in future, with the support of more studies it might be possible that olive oil extract of St. John’s Wort might be available in market.
St. John’s Wort extract should be obtained from dried above ground part of the plant just before or after the flowering period. Its extract should contain not less than 0.04% of naphthodianthrones of hypericin group (called popularly as total hypericin). Lower part of stem has lower concentration and fewer active ingredients.
St. John’s Wort And Germany:
Apart from the traditional use of hypericum in Germany, this botanical is indicated for clinical use in mild to moderate depression, nervous disturbances, fear, somatoform disturbances, anxiety and insomnia. According to one estimate, 66 million annual doses of this plant is consumed in Germany and three million prescriptions are given to patients.
Germany’s Commission E is the scientific committee of Federal Department of Health. This committee is active since 1978 and it has a panel of multidisciplinary experts in the field of medicine, pharmacology, botanist, toxicologists and others.
Safe & Reasonable Efficacy
This panel came out with 312 monographs of clinically supported herbal use with 286 individual herbs and herbal formulations. The main criteria of this panel is that the herb should be absolutely proven to be safe and and should show reasonable efficacy. These monographs represent the most comprehensive and supported information about herbs.