Saint-John's-wort can increase sensitivity of eyes, skin to light


March 30, 2003|By Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon | Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon,SPECIAL TO THE SUN / King Features Syndicate

I tried taking Saint-John's-wort some time ago to relieve anxiety. After several months I found I had become sensitive to sunlight. Not only was it difficult to look at things in bright light, but I became uncomfortable in direct sunshine.

Since I live in Southern California, that didn't work. I eventually gave up on Saint-John's-wort and learned to avoid caffeine, which a doctor told me is linked to anxiety disorders. Please let your readers know about this side effect of Saint-John's-wort.

Saint-John's-wort can sensitize both the skin and the eyes to sunshine. For some, this can show up as a bad sunburn. For others, it might increase the risk of eye damage. Anyone who uses Saint-John's-wort for depression or anxiety should avoid bright light.

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