Latin name: Hypericum perforatum
St. John’s wort is a perennial herbaceous plant that can grow up to 100 cm in height. The leaves are oblong, oppositely arranged in pairs. The flowers are light yellow in color, placed on top of the stem, with five petals and numerous stamens. When rubbed, the flowers produce red sap.
Healing properties of St. John’s wort
St. John’s wort is most commonly used for the treatment of mild depression, and helps with many conditions associated with depression, such as stress, anxiety, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), chronic fatigue syndrome, and can have effects on alleviating pain. St. John’s wort helps the healthy sleep and is particularly useful when the depression is accompanied by fatigue, sleepiness and low energy levels. It also helps with the so-called “winter depression” which occurs in the autumn or winter, and disappears with the coming of spring or summer.
St. John’s wort is a milder alternative to the conventional medicines, but with significantly fewer side effects. It does not interact with most of the other medicines; therefore it is useful for older people who usually take a larger number of medicines.
Except as antidepressants, St. John’s wort is used in the fight against bacteria and viruses, and improves liver function. The ointment made from St. John’s wort, applied on hemorrhoids, relieves the burning and itching. It can also be useful in losing body weight.
Since ancient times, people have been using St. John’s Wort oil for the treatment of injuries and burns. The oil is directly applied on the burns, cuts and other types of bleeding wounds, or the gauze or a piece of cloth is soaked in the oil and then applied on the injured place.
St. John’s wort tea against mental fatigue and sleep problems
Pour one cup of boiling water over one teaspoon of dried St. John’s wort flowers, let it to stand for five minutes and strain it.
Drink two to three cups per day during the meals.
St. John’s wort oil
St. John’s Wort oil is prepared as follows:
Put the collected flowers in a bottle and pour some olive oil over them, so that the flowers are completely covered with oil (do not overfill the bottle, but leave some free space at the top). Seal the bottle well and keep it exposed to the sun 5-6 weeks.
Take oil from the bottle as needed, and keep the rest in the bottle.
Instead of olive oil, you can use sunflower oil. The linseed oil is used for burns.
Although very unlikely, side effects may include upset stomach, constipation, dry mouth and dizziness. It is advisable to people with light skin to avoid long exposures to sunlight during the use of St. John’s wort. If you are taking prescribed medicines (conventional antidepressants), be sure to consult with your doctor before taking St. John’s wort.
Although there are no recorded side effects with pregnant women and nursing mothers who use St. John’s wort, however, caution is highly advised.