Health Benefits of St. Johns Wort

Health Benefits of St. Johns Wort

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  1. St. John’s Wort is an aromatic, perennial herb, (perennial means it produces season after season). It’s golden yellow flowers have five petals and it’s nativet to Europe. European settlers brought it to America and it can be found growing all over the country, most abudantly in California, Oregon and Washington state.

    St. John’s Wort is actually a humble weed; people in the Northwest have named it Klamath Weed. The yellow flowers and the unopened buds of the plant have been ground up and used medicinally for the past 2,500 years; the herb can either be swallowed or mixed with oil and applied to the skin.

    St. John’s Wort got its name, so the legend goes, because its blooms are at their height on June 24, the day that the birthday of St. John the Baptist is traditionally celebrated. People have always believed the herb had supernatural powers. It’s been placed under pillows in hopes the St. John would appear and provide protection, and hung over pictures to ward off evil spirits. Whatever the reason, St. John’s Wort has had its share of folklore and mythology applied to it through the years. 

    But in a more practical sense, St. John’s Wort has proven itself to be a remarkable herb. The herbs popularity in Europe has spread to America. St. John’s Wort is used extensively in Germany and no serious drug interactions, illnesses or deaths following overdoses have been reported.


    St. John’s Wort consists of 40 different chemicals, but the one believed to be mostly responsible for its anit-depressant properties is hypericin. The herb has been proven effective in treating mild to moderate depression and is less likely to cause side effects than the synthetic antidpressants on the market. Still, you shouldn’t take St. John’s Wort if you’re pregnant, planning on becoming pregnant or if you’re nursing. If you have fair skin, stay out of the sun as much as possible when taking the herb becuase it makes your skin more sensitive to the sun.

    Anxiety and Insomnia

    St. John’s Wort has been shown to alleviate anxiety. In clinical studies conducted on the effects the herb has on depression, participants reported a lessening of anxiety as well. They also reported that they were sleeping better. St. John’s Wort can help older people get to a deeper level of sleep and stay asleep longer. 

    Wound Healing

    St. John’s Wort has wound healing abilities and has been used as a balm for wounds, bites, burns and ulcerations since 1663, when the herbalist Gerard chronicled its uses. As late as 1975, studies found that first-degree burns treated with St. John’s Wort ointment healed within 48 hours.

    Antibacterial Power

    St. John’s Wort is a natural antibiotic, this might be due to several components in the herb. The essential oil and some of the other chemicals in it all work together to produce the antibacterial effect.

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