Latin Name: Hypericum perforatum
Plant Family: Hypericaceae
Common Name: St. Johnís Wort
Origin & History:
: From the time of the ancient Greeks until the Middle Ages, the plant was believed to ward off witchcraft and evil spirits. Medicinally, St. Johnís Wort was used to treat a number of ailments including nervous disorders, depression, neuralgia, wounds, burns and kidney problems as well as an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory agent.
Glycosides, Volatile Oil, Tannin, Resin, Pectin.
St. Johnís Wort was popular with ancient medical authorities and was commonly recommended for the treatment of anxiety, depression, mania, fatigue, hysteria and insomnia. Recent media coverage has placed St. Johnís Wort on the best selling list again due to itsí effective treatment of anxiety, depression and unrest without the side effects that often accompany the use of prescriptive drugs. Although the main use of St. Johnís Wort is in the treatment of depression, it has several other interesting and useful actions. In a study published in the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 1988, researchers from The New York University Medical Center and The Weizmann Institute of Science reported the discovery of two substances in St. Johnís Wort, hypericin and pseudohypericin, that displayed anti-viral activity against some retroviruses, including the human immune deficiency virus (HIV). St. Johnís Wort is also known to inhibit the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the most common form of TB, and some strains of resistant bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, E. Coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Side Effects & Cautions:
When taken internally in large doses, can cause heightened sun sensitivity, especially in fair-skinned people. Also interferes with the absorption of iron and other minerals. Sleeping time of narcotics is enhanced and the effect of reserpine are antagonized when taken in conjunction with St. Johnís Wort.