Health Benefits of St John's Wort

What is St John's Wort?

 

In the olden days, St John's wort was hung above doorways to ward off evil spirits during midsummer.  It is believed that the name 'St John's wort' is derived from the Knights of St John of Jerusalem who actually uses this herb to heal wounds during the Crusades.

 

St John's wort parts used

  • Aerial parts

  • Flowering tops

St John's wort health benefits

 

St John's wort is an extremely good external anti-inflammatory hence effective for healing any skin problems.  This herb contains a variety of healing chemicals including flavonoids which is beneficial in helping to boost the effectiveness of immune cells as well as hypericin which helps in suppressing the activity of viruses. St John's wort herb also contains other substances that helps in repelling fungi and bacteria while counteracting inflammation.  When St John's wort is applied directly to any wounds or burns, the hypericin and other antibiotic compounds in St John's wort oil can help in preventing infection while the flavonoids helps in reducing inflammation.  In fact, studies have shown that a St John's wort ointment can substantially reduce burn healing time and lessened scarring. 

 

This herb has also been used for centuries as a mild tranquilizer for emotional and nervous disorders.  It is also a muscle relaxer with no dangerous side effects at all.  The health benefits of St John's wort can be summarize as:

  • being particularly useful for emotional upsets during menopause

  • alleviating immune-deficiency problems especially when used as a St John's wort's extract

  • treating skin problems such as burns, wounds, cuts, bruises, boils, eczema, insect bites or skin inflammation especially by using the red extract from St John's wort's flowerheads or by crushing St John's wort's leaves and flowers then applying them directly on the skin problem areas for about 10-20 minutes. 

  • treating joint problems and providing relief from rheumatic pain

  • treating nervous disorders such as mood swings, anxiety and depression by mixing 10-15 drops of St John's wort extract in liquid to make a cup of tranquilizing tea

  • combating alcoholism by drinking a cup of St John's wort tea after breakfast and after dinner daily for up to 4-6 weeks.  The St John's wort tea can be prepared by dipping either one teabag of St John's wort tea or 1 tablespoon of St John's wort's flower tops into one cup of boiling water, letting it simmer for up to 5 minutes, straining out the tea then adding honey to sweeten it.

  • relieving hangovers by consuming either St John's wort tea 2-3 times throughout the day or one 300 mg capsule of St John's wort extract

  • inhibiting the development or progress of Parkinson's disease by also just consuming a cup of St John's wort tea or one capsule of St John's wort extract on a regular basis with a meal

  • treating premenstrual syndrome or PMS

  • treating irritable bowel syndrome

  • relieving menstrual cramps

  • being used as an effective topical treatment for hemorrhoids

Caution

  • Prolong usage of St John's wort may occasionally lead to photosensitivity, headache, confusion, dizziness, restlessness, dry mouth, sexual dysfunction and upset stomach.  When taking supplements of St John's wort, one way of preventing photosensitivity is by applying a sunblock of good quality before venturing out into the sun.

  • St John's wort may also interact with other prescription drugs hence it is crucial to seek the consultation of a physician especially if you are under treatment for cancer, depression, heart disease, HIV infection or taking birth control pills or blood thinner such as Warfarin or Digoxin.

  • Pregnant ladies should avoid St John's wort

  • There have been occasional cases of people having an allergy to St John's wort hence if there are any symptoms that appear and cannot be explain for, it is advisable to seek a doctor's advice.

  • If you are regularly consuming St John's wort, it is highly recommended that it is accompanied by the consumption of iron supplements everyday due to the fact that the tannic acid in the hypericum content in the St John's wort herb can interfere with your body's capability in iron absorption.

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