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J Turk Ger Gynecol Assoc. 2019 May 28;20(2):65-69. doi: 10.4274/jtgga.galenos.2018.2018.0041. Epub 2018 May 14.

Detrimental effect of Hypericum perforatum on ovarian functions

Author information

Department of Medical Pharmacology, Adnan Menderes University Faculty of Medicine, Aydın, Turkey
Department of Pathology Laboratory Tecniques, Avrasya University Vocational School of Health Services, Trabzon, Turkey
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Adnan Menderes University Faculty of Medicine, Aydın, Turkey
Department of Medical Biochemistry, Adnan Menderes University Faculty of Medicine, Aydın, Turkey



Hypericum perforatum is widely used for depression and distress treatment as an over-the-counter plant at any age. This study investigated the safety of H. perforatum on ovarian function and infertility.

Material and Methods:

H. perforatum was given to rats in two different dosages (100 and 300 mg/kg/day) with drinking water for four weeks. Half of the treatment groups were sacrificed at the end of the four-week intervention, the remainder was sacrificed after an additional four-week waiting period to see if there was reversibility. At the end of the experiment, blood samples and both ovarian tissues were obtained under anesthesia with ketamine and xylazine (50 mg/kg and 5 mg/kg, respectively).


Although primordial follicle numbers were not affected with a dose of 100 mg/kg, they were significantly decreased (28.6%) when the dose was tripled. Primary follicle numbers stayed the same, but secondary and tertiary follicles numbers were significantly dose-dependently decreased, and remained significantly low four weeks after the intervention. Anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) levels were not significantly different between the groups.


H. perforatum treatment did not change serum levels of AMH because the primary follicle number did not decrease. However, the other follicle counts decreased in a dose-dependent manner and full recovery was not regained after four weeks. The detrimental effect of H. perforatum on primordial follicles should be taken into consideration because any woman using H. perforatum could also experience ovarian failure.


ovarian capacity; Anti-mullerian hormone; rat; rational drug treatment; St. John’s wort

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