What is St. Johns Wort?
St John's wort used alone refers to the species Hypericum perforatum, also known as Tipton's Weed or Klamath weed, but, with qualifiers, is used to refer to any species of the genus Hypericum.
St. John's Wort, is a perennial herb that can be easily recognized by its bright yellow-colored flowers. It received its name by the day that it is commonly harvested, June 24th, which is often known as "St. John's Day'.
The flowers of the plant have been used throughout history as a natural herbal remedy in order to benefit the body in numerous ways. The flowering tops of St. John's wort are used to prepare teas and tablets containing concentrated extracts.
St John's wort stems are erect, branched in the upper section, and can grow to 1 m high. St John's wort can be visually recognized by leaf and flower type. Yellow, five petaled flowers approximately 20 mm across occur between late Spring and early to mid Summer. Leaves exhibit translucent dots when held up to the light, giving them a "perforated' appearance. When flowers or seed pods are crushed, a reddish/purple liquid is produced.
History of St. Johns Wort
In Europe St. John's wort is widely prescribed for depression. In the US it is not a prescription medicine; it is, however, one of the most commonly used herbal supplements.
Ancient Greeks were known to use St. John's Wort as a herbal supplement.
Native Americans used the herb in order to treat inflammations, as it is a natural herbal remedy known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It also has many properties of an antiseptic.
Its use as a herbal tea has long been enjoyed.
The flowers and stems of St John's wort have also been used to produce red and yellow dyes.
St. John's wort has been used for centuries to treat mental disorders and nerve pain.
In ancient times, herbalists wrote about its use as a sedative and a treatment for malaria, as well as a balm for wounds, burns, and insect bites.
Today, St. John's wort is used by some for depression, anxiety, and/or sleep disorders.
St, Johns Wort Remedies
St. John's Wort is a herbal supplement that is often used to treat many conditions. It has been successfully used for countless conditions in the past so much so that nowadays, many people can testify that their condition has been seriously benefited after starting a course of the foremost natural herbal remedy.
Many people claim to feel that their depression is lessened when taking the supplement on a regular basis. If other types of medication are not working for your depression, you've got nothing to lose, and there is a very low chance that you will experience any side effects, especially when compared with commonly prescribed anti-depressant drugs. St John's wort has been known to instigate mania in bipolar patients and for these people it should be used with caution, just as with any anti-depressant, you are advised to check with your medical practioner first.
Rest assured, that there have been numerous clinical trials conducted in order to accurately gauge the efficiency of St. John's Wort in its capacity as an anti-depressant natural herbal remedy. Some of the studies found that it can be very useful when it comes to treating cases of mild to moderate depression. If you are experiencing a case of depression, you may want to give St. John's Wort a try, but only after you have taken medical advice.
It may also decrease alcohol intake. The constituent hyperforin, (found in the plant), appears to be responsible for decreasing alcohol consumption.
The aerial parts of the plant can be cut and dried for later use in the form of herbal tea with pleasant, though somewhat bitter, taste and for its medicinal properties.
St. John's wort may help with the treatment of herpes, HIV and friend leukemia virus, and could help in treating some cancers. The National Cancer Institute has conducted several studies showing that St. John's wort has potential as a cancer fighting drug.
Hyperforin, a major constituent, has also been found to have excellent antibacterial properties; in ultrapurified form a concentration of 0.1 mg/ml kills methicillin-resistant forms of Staphylococcus aureus.
St. John's wort has been used to treat muscular spasms, cramps, and tension that results in muscular spasms.
St. John's wort has long been used medicinally as an anti-inflammatory for strains, sprains, and contusions.
St. John's wort oil is useful when applied to wounds and bruises or rubbed onto strains, sprains, or varicose veins.
When St. John's wort oil is rubbed onto the belly and breasts during pregnancy it can help prevent stretch marks.
Topical application of St. John's wort oil is useful to treat hemorrhoids and aching, swollen veins that can occur during pregnancy.
St. John's wort is specifically indicated for "menopausal neuroses": Many women who experience anxiety, depression, and other emotional disturbances during menopause benefit from St. John's wort.
St. John's wort may cause increased sensitivity to sunlight.
Side effects of St. Johns Wort can include anxiety, dry mouth, dizziness, gastrointestinal symptoms, fatigue, headache, or sexual dysfunction.
At large doses, St John's wort is poisonous to grazing livestock including cattle, sheep, goats, horses.
St John's wort may interact with birth control pills and may reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives.
Research shows that St. John's wort interacts with some drugs by affecting the way the body processes or breaks down many drugs, it may speed or slow a drug's breakdown including.
Warfarin and related medicines used to thin the blood.
Indinavir and other medicines used to control HIV infection.
Irinotecan and other anti cancer medicines.
Birth control pills.
Cyclosporine, a medicine that helps prevent the body from rejecting transplanted organs.
Digoxin, a medicine used to strengthen heart muscle contractions.