St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties, and thanking to its anti-inflammatory properties, it is used with wounds and skin burns. It is also used in ulcer and duodenum treatment, in various indigestion disorders. It eases gastritis pains and heals the wounds in the digestive tract.
Numerous clinical trials have proven the use of St John’s wort in curing mild depression conditions. In comparison to antidepressant drugs, St John’s wort is proven equally efficient with fewer side effects. It is also useful in treating various phobias, menopause mood swings, OCD, and seasonal depressions – caused by lack of sunshine in the winter time (seasonal affective disorder (SAD)).
This herb is being tested in various virus treatments such as HIV and Hepatitis C. St John’s wort vaginal suppositories are excellent in treating antibacterial inflammation. It helps with bed-wetting that some children might experience and women’s menopause mood swings.
The most common usage of this plant is in curing skin: wounds, cuts, burns, stings, and sores. Traditionally prepared St John’s wort oil eases pain, rheum, gout, swelling, bruises, and hemorrhoids.
How does St John’s wort oil work?
Earlier it was believed this oil cured only skin problems with its hypericin active substance, but nowadays it is proven that hyperforin is responsible for many other uses of this plant. St John’s wort prevents degradation of neurotransmitters: serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine which are all responsible for putting us in a good mood and easing symptoms of depression. Antidepressant drugs work in that order also.
St John’s wort soothes inflammatory processes on the skin surface. It contains photosensitive components, so one must be cautious when applying it, especially during the summer months. It helps with gram positive and gram negative bacteria and viruses (influenza virus, herpes simplex type 1 and 2, cytomegalovirus, hepatitis C). It has been found that hyperforin acts to prevent the development of penicillin and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Some of the trials state the St John’s wort act to prevent development of cancer cells but these trials have not been proven yet. Melatonin is extracted from St John’s wort, which enormously help with sleep disorders.
What does science say?
St John’s wort is recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and is approved as a medicine for mild depression in Germany. It is also registered as a prescribed drug in Germany and can be bought in the pharmacies only. The reason for that is St John’s wort’s multiple interactions with other drugs which result in increase of their excretion, so there is a reduction or complete loss of drugs’ action.
Next Page: How to take St John’s wort and Side Effects