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St John's Wort

St John's Wort Facts

Latin Name: Hypericum perforatum

Common Names: St. John's wort, hypericum, Tipton's weed, Klamath weed, goat weed

Family Name: Clusiaceae

St John's Wort is a herbaceous plant with small yellow flowers that grows wild in meadows. It is native to Europe and also grows in North America, Russia, India and China. St John's wort gets its name from St John the Baptist as the flower blooms around the feast day of St John (June 24) and is harvested on that day.

Use of St. John's wort for medicinal purposes goes back to ancient Greece. It has been traditionally used for nervous disorders and to heal wounds and burns. More recently it has been shown beneficial in treating mild to moderate depression and anxiety.

Chemical composition of St. John's wort

The leaves and flowers of St. John's wort are used for medicinal purposes. The active components in St. John's wort are hypericin and pseudohypericin. It also contains essential oils and flavonoids.

Benefits of St. John's wort

  • St. John's wort helps in treating mild to moderate depression
  • St. John's wort acts as a relaxant and helps in treating anxiety and nervous disorders
  • St. John's wort applied topically is useful in treating wounds, burns and hemorrhoids
  • St. John's wort can help in relieving Seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It is very effective when combined with light therapy
  • St. John's wort helps to treat alcoholism by reducing alcohol cravings
  • St. John's wort helps in treating bacterial infections
  • St. John's wort helps in treating ear pain from ear infections
  • St. John's wort may help relieve PMS symptoms

St. John's wort Dosage

St. John's wort is available in the form of powder, tablets, capsules, tinctures, tea and balms.

The following are recommended dosages for adults. It is also important to follow manufacturer's instructions

  • St. John's wort Liquid extracts: 40 to 60 drops twice a day
  • St. John's wort Capsules or tablets: 300 mg standardized to contain 0.3% hypericin three times a day with meals
  • St. John's wort Tea: 1 - 2 teaspoons per cup steeped in hot water. Two cups per day,
  • For slow-healing wounds, creams or ointments should be applied as needed.

    St. John's wort Drug Interactions and Side Effects

    St. John's wort increases the sensitivity of eyes and skin to light. It has also been known to have interactions with other drugs such as anticonvulsant, HIV medications, oral contraceptives, SSRIs, anti-depressants, triptans, warfarin, theophylline, ciclosporin, digoxin.


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