A government study suggests that St. John's wort provides no apparent benefit to children and teens with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
It's another blow to herbal supplements and to parents who want
to avoid stimulants like Ritalin and other drugs used to help
children control their behavior.
The study focused on St. John's wort because studies in rats
found it increases brain chemicals that are thought to help focus
attention. The researchers thought St. John's wort might work the
same way as the prescription drug Strattera that makes those
chemicals more available in the brain.
The study involved more than 50 children and teens with ADHD.
And after eight weeks, there appeared to be no difference in
symptoms or side effects between those who took St. John's wort
capsules and those who took placebos.
The study appears in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical