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Ashwagandha vs. St. John's Wort: The Top 4 Things to Know

If you’re experiencing anxiety or fighting depression, there are important natural remedies that can relieve mood disorders while offering fewer side effects than traditional anti-depressant drugs. Ashwagandha is a non-toxic, adaptogen herb that belongs to a centuries-old Ayurveda natural system of medicine in India. As a yellow, flowering herb, St. John’s Wort was used by ancient Greeks and in Europe during the Middle Ages as a health-boosting potion.

Taking Ashwagandha and St. John’s Wort together can create a powerhouse effect that alleviates major stress, anxiety, and depression. It can boost brain function and improve sleep. The important thing is to not overdo it and follow recommended dosages.

Check out these top 4 things to know about Ashwagandha vs. St. John’s Wort.

Ashwagandha vs. St. John’s Wort

Both Ashwagandha and St. John’s Wort are successful natural remedies for anxiety, depression, sleep problems, and memory issues. Both herbs are adaptogens that help your body cope with anxiety, stress, depression, and hormonal issues.

According to, these two plants are very different. For example, Ashwagandha is often used to increase fertility, while St. John’s Wort use is primarily as a natural alternative to traditional antidepressants since it can lift major depression with less side effects.

If you’re looking at the best herbal remedies to ease anxiety and lower stress levels, Ashwagandha and St. John’s Wort are both good options. Overall, Ashwagandha is considered the safer adaptogen since you can typically take it while nursing to avoid anxiety and postpartum depression.

Keep in mind that neither herb is recommended for use alone or combined while pregnant. Talk to a medical professional before taking an Ashwagandha or St. John’s Wort supplement. 

St. John’s Wort can interact negatively with many other herbs and over 500 drugs and medications. It can also trigger manic episodes if someone has schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Ashwagandha has no known adverse food interactions. While it can interact with blood thinners, sedatives, immune suppressants, thyroid supplements, and anxiety medications, the effects are usually minimal.

Fortunately, Ashwagandha and St. John’s Wort have synergy when taken together. Taking both adaptogens together can help boost their antidepressant effect. While this is generally considered safe, it’s important to remember that not all bodies are the same and that some people may experience severe negative effects when taking both herbs together.  

Most experts advise taking 300mg of Ashwagandha root per day in liquid, tablet, or capsule form.

Experts consider that it’s safe to use 600 to 1,800mg of St. John’s Wort extract per day. They recommend starting at the lower end of the dosage if you’re new to the herb.

The Top 4 Benefits of Ashwagandha and St. John’s Wort

1. Decreases Stress

Due to its antioxidant properties, Ashwagandha studies have demonstrated that the herb can lower stress levels by 80%.

Its adaptogen benefits help reduce the number of stress hormones that the body creates by as much as 26%.

St. John’s Wort acts as a natural anti-depressant for mild to moderate symptoms. That’s because this adaptogen acts as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. In this function, the herb prevents brain neurotransmitters from reabsorbing dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.

2. Reduces Anxiety 

When your stress levels go down, this also reduces anxiety.

If you always feel anxious, stressed, or pressured, an Ashwagandha supplement can help improve brain function to help fight skyrocketing stress levels. When your brain handles stress better, your anxiety levels can decrease.

Since it’s beneficial as a nutritional supplement, St. John’s Wort not only fights depression, but it relieves anxiety or panic attacks. It also helps synchronize your metabolism with your internal body clock.

3. Improves Sleep

According to, Ashwagandha and St. John’s Wort provide relaxing qualities that can help improve sleep quality. This in turn can help alleviate stress and anxiety. When you sleep well, your body is better equipped to deal with stressful situations.

Ashwagandha can boost your sleep quality according to researchers who tested study participants who took Ashwagandha herb compared to those who took a placebo pill.

St. John’s Wort may also help sleep since the herb boosts the sleep hormone melatonin and works to regulate moods.

4. Helps Balance Hormones

As alternative medicines, Ashwagandha and St. John’s Wort are often recommended for PMS or menopause symptoms.

Both adaptogens regular hormone production and can help balance cortisol blood levels and thyroid hormones to produce more balanced hormone function in the body.