Hypericum perforatum, or St. John’s wort is a perennial bush with lovely bright yellow flowers. The leaves have tiny oil glands that look like holes (hence the name “perforatum”) when the light shines through the leaves.
It is native of many areas including Europa and United States. Ancient Greeks believed it is a plant with magical protective powers against invisible bad spirits.
It has been used for centuries to treat wounds, infections and depression. Several studies has confirmed its antiviral properties against herpes simplex types 1 and 2, influenza viruses types A and B, Epstein-Barr virus and HIV….
It has sedative and pain-relieving effects when used in the treatment of neuralgia, sciatica, rheumatic pain, facial neuralgia after dental extractions and has given similar results than standard antidepressant for anxiety, tension, and irritability showing less side effects.
Externally is anti-inflammatory and effective for the treatment of wounds and bruises, mild burns, varicose veins and muscle pain.
It can cause photosensitization at high doses and shouldn’t be used together with certain drugs such as oral contraceptive, non sedating antihistamines, calcium channel-blockers, antiepileptic medications and others as the herb can reduce their activity.
It can be taken internally in capsules, tincture or as tea, mixed with other lovely relaxing herbs. It’s delicious and helps to relieve stress.
Always consult a qualified Medical Herbalist before choosing the right herbs especially when taking other medication as medicinal herbs can cause interactions.
Sources: The Healing power of herbs – Michael T. Murray
Medical Herbalism , The science and practice of Herbal Medicine – David Hoffmann