Flowering tops, aerial parts.
St. John's wort possesses several remedial properties, but perhaps the most significant use of this European herb is to treat depression and other nervous disorders. Since long back, herbal medicine practitioners have used the herb as a stimulant for nervousness, anxiety, depression and insomnia or wakefulness. The herb is especially effective in treating depression linked to menopause. In fact, when the herb is administered to women enduring depression owing to menopausal disorders, it relieves the symptoms of hormonal alterations. In addition, the herb is also useful in healing reduced vigour among women in the menopausal phase. At the same time, the herb is a helpful stimulant for the gallbladder and liver. The oil extracted from the St. John's herb has a reddish color and is an exceptional antiseptic. The oil is applied topically to heal injuries and burns and also to alleviate cramps and neuralgia or nerve pain. The oil is also administered internally to treat peptic ulcers and gastric tenderness or irritation. In addition to being an excellent antiseptic, St. John's wort oil also possesses antiviral as well as anti-inflammatory properties and heals equally well when applied externally or used internally.
Although St. John's wort is indigenous to Britain and other regions of Europe, it may be found growing naturally in many regions of the world now. Normally, this herb is found growing in the pastures, on the river banks and beside the railroads. The plant has a preference for chalky or dusty soil and thrives well in sunny locations. One may propagate St. John's wort from the seeds during spring or, alternately, by root division during the autumn. The flowering tops of the plant, which possess remedial properties, are picked during the middle of summer.
Numerous researches have been conducted with St. John's wort across the globe to ascertain the plant's remedial properties. A study conducted by scientists in Austria recently found that around 67 per cent of patients enduring gentle to restrained depression showed signs of improvement when they were administered an extract of the herb. The findings of this study validated the results of previous experiments with St. John's wort and established the fact that formulations prepared with the herb were beneficial for patients enduring depression. The reddish color of the oil extracted from St. John's wort is attributed to the products of a substance present in the herb - hypericin. This ingredient is known to be an antidepressant and, it is also a potent anti-viral. Owing to the latter property of the herb, presently scientists are conducting researches with St. John's wort to find if it can be used to treat the deadly diseases HIV and AIDS. Researches conducted with the herb so far demonstrate that the entire herb possesses properties that are highly useful to combat several types of viral infections.
St.John's wort contains glycosides, flavonoids (including rutin), volatile oils, tannins, resins.
Medications prepared with different parts of St. John's wort are available in different forms - herbal extracts, capsules and tablets. Several patients daily take 500 mg of the medication that is homogenized to enclose a mere 0.2 per cent of hypericin. However, a higher dosage of extract from St. John's wort, around 900 mg daily, may be administered to patients in specific cases. It is essential to take the St. John's wort just before or after meals. In the event of using the extract of St. John's wort for treating depression, it is essential to appraise the efficacy of the treatment after a period of four to six weeks by a physician with experience in nutrition. Tinctures and infusions of the herb are also available and they are usually administered in dosages of one to two ml thrice daily. In addition, oil prepared with St. John's wort is applied externally to alleviate pain and rheumatism.
Using any form of St. John's wort makes the skin more sensitive to light. Hence, it is advisable that people with fair complexion and using St. John's wort ought to keep away from exposure to powerful sunlight as well as all sources of ultraviolet (UV) light - for instance, tanning beds. In addition, such people should also keep away from specific foods, including red wine, yeast, cheese and pickled herring. Here is a word of caution for women using St. John's wort. This herb or medications prepared with it should never be used by pregnant women and nursing mothers.
The therapeutic properties of St. John's wort notwithstanding, using the herb may result in a number of side effects. In addition, this herb should not be used by people enduring certain conditions or women when they are pregnant or lactating. A number of instances are mentioned below wherein St. John's wort should not be used under any circumstances. Precisely speaking, use of the herb in the conditions mentioned below is strictly prohibited and if used may prove to be detrimental for the patient's health.
Although it is a very useful herb that is effective in treating a number of conditions, St. John's wort should be used with extreme caution. Below are a few instances to help you use St. John's herb with prudence.
First and foremost, St. John's wort has an effect in the nervous system. The hypericin present in the plant works in combination with additional elements having an antidepressant effect. Several studies conducted in America have demonstrated that St. John's wort may possibly be used along with ginkgo biloba with a view to augment the antidepressant effect of the herb. Nevertheless, one should first consult his or her physician or herbal medicine practitioner if they are already taking any antidepressant medication and also wish to take St. John's wort for speedy recovery. The same applies for people who desire to use St. John's wort along with other herbs. In general, St. John's wort is also a stimulator for the nervous system and for instance, may be used in the reproductive system of women during menopause, which worsens physical transformations owing to psychological as well as emotional weakness. This herb is also beneficial for the digestive system as it maintains the health of the liver, while the anti-viral properties of the herb makes it a useful medication for the respiratory system, particularly when people are enduring conditions, such as flues and colds. Overall, the anti-viral properties of the herb are utilized to strengthen the immune system. The oil extracted from St. John's wort is also applied externally as an antiseptic medication to cure injuries as well as to alleviate pain, especially in the instance of shingles and recurring strain injury.
The above ground or aerial parts of the herb, its flowering tops as well as the oil extracted from St. John's wort possess medicinal properties and are used in various forms to cure different conditions.
Oil extracted from the flowers of St. John's wort is effective in healing a number of conditions. To prepare the oil, you need the following ingredients: