Information on St. John's Wort

Latin NameHypericum perforatumphoto
Other NamesKlamath Weed
Part UsedFlowers, Leaf
Herb FormsTincture, standardized extract in tablet, oil, capsule, bulk herb.
AffectsEndocrine system, Nervous system, Integumentary system, Liver
CautionsAvoid regular use of this herb if you are taking pharmaceutical MAO-inhibitors. St. John's wort has caused photodermatitis in cows and sheep who have eaten large quantities of the fresh herb. It is recommended to avoid bright sunlight when taking therap
Botanical InfoAn upright perennial herb with thin, opposite eliptical leaves with translucent dots, bright yellow flowers. Crushing the yellow flowers yields a blood-red juice due to coloring pigments in the petals.
DescriptionSt. John's wort shows great promise as an antiviral and anti-inflammatory agent and is being researched for its potential benefit to AIDS patients. It has long been used as a remedy for uterine cramping, mild depression, bedwetting, and anxiety. St. John's wort is used internally and externally for pain relief. One of its main active ingredients, hypericin, is a strong anti-inflammatory and can penetrate through the skin if applied locally as an oil. This warming and soothing oil is used externally for wounds, nerve pain, trauma due to tension or accidents, and burns. The oil or tincture applied locally is one of the most effective remedies available to help reduce the redness and itching of poison oak rashes and quickly reduce the pain of a scrape or burn.
Herbalists always think of St. John's wort for healing nerve trauma due to injury or chronic disease. Modern research from Europe has shown the whole plant extract to be as effective as a popularly prescribed drug for mild depression.
To make an oil, grind enough fresh flowering tops (traditionally harvested on St. John's day--June 24th) to nearly fill a given quantity of olive oil. Wait for 2 weeks, strain and filter the oil, bottle for use. A traditional way of making the oil and effectively increasing the intensity of its red color is to make the infusion in the direct sun.

St. John's Wort has a taste of BITTER, SWEET and a temperature of COOL.

Dosages

TypeDosage
Tincture1-2 dropperful 2-3 x daily
Extractfollow label directions
Oilapply externally as needed

Ailments Treated by St. John's Wort

AilmentTreatment SupportApplication
Abrasionsvulneraryred oil applied externally
Bleeding, externalwound healingoil externally
Burns, 2nd degreeanti-inflammatoryoil, externally
Cuts, minorstypticoil externally
Depression, mildantidepressant, nerve tonictincture, tablet
Ear [middle] inflammationanti-inflammatoryoil externally
Herpesantiviral, anti-inflammatoryoil externally, tincture internally
Hyperactivitynervous system tonictincture, tablet, capsule
Lumbagoanti-inflammatoryoil externally, tincture internally
Hypochondriamood enhancertincture, tablet, capsule
Itchinganalgesic, anti-inflammatoryoil, tincture, creams
Jet laghormone tonic, mood regulatorstandardized extract in capsules or tablets, tincture
Mumpsanti-viral, anti-inflammatorytincture, tablet
Nettle Stinganti-inflammatoryoil
Neuralgiaanti-inflammatorytincture, tablet
Neuritisanti-inflammatoryoil externally, tincture internally
Numbnessnerve tonictablet, tincture, capsule
Pain, to relieveanti-inflammatorytincture, tablet, capsule
Phlebitisanti-inflammatoryoil or cream externally
Poison oakanti-inflammatorytincture externally
Rheumatism, chronicanti-inflammatoryoil externally
Sciatica, acuteanti-inflammatorytincture internally, oil externally
Shinglesantiviral, anti-inflammatorytincture interally, oil externally
Sleeping aidsserotonin regulatortincture, tablet, capsule
Sprainsanti-inflammatoryoil externally, tincture internally
Sunburnanti-inflammatoryoil externally
Teethinganti-inflammatoryoil externally
Tendonitisanti-inflammatoryoil externally
Vaginal drynesssoothingoil externally
Viral infectionantiviraltincture, tablet, capsule
Woundsvulnerary, anti-bacterialcream, salve, oil

References

Blumenthal, Mark et al. 1998. The Complete Commission E Monographs. Austin: American Botanical Council.
Newall, C. et al.. 1996. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-care Professionals. London: The Pharmaceutical Press.
Leung, A. and S. Foster. 1996. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients. New York: J. Wiley & Sons.
Felter, H.W. and J.U. Lloyd. 1983. (1898). King's Dispensatory. Portland, OR: Eclectic Medical Publications.
Weiss, R. 1988. Herbal Medicine. Beaconsfield, England: Beaconsfield Publishers.
Wren, R.C. 1988. Potter's New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs. Essex: C.W. Daniel Co. Ltd.
Madaus, G. 1976. Lehrbuch der Biologischen Heilmittel. Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag.