St. Johns Wort
Dr. Don Colbert
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St. Johnswort - Hypericum perforatumSt John's wort is widely known as a herbal treatment for depression. In some countries, such as Germany, it is commonly prescribed for mild depression, especially in children and adolescents.
St. John’s Wort is recognized for its ability to safely and naturally support positive emotional Health by safely promoting balanced brain chemistry. Scientists have extensively studied St. John's Wort to determine which of its constituents has the ability to modulate or balance brain chemistry. Scientists have now determined that a class of phytonutrients called "hyperforins" are most responsible for St. John's Wort's beneficial effects.
St. John's wort as a whole herb gives the body "just enough medicine" to overcome the physical aches and pains and mild viral infections that keep the brain from recovering from depression. Nineteenth century Eclectic physicians in the United States used St. John's wort to relieve pain caused by injuries to the spine and puncture wounds in the hands and feet. The herb was noted for its ability to slow frequent urination, and treat "throbbing pains" of any origin.
An analysis of twenty-nine clinical trials with more than five thousand patients was conducted by Cochrane Collaboration. The review concluded that extracts of St. John's wort were superior to placebo in patients with major depression. St. John's wort had similar efficacy to standard antidepressants.
Aromatic, astringent, resolvent, expectorant and nervine. Used in all pulmonary complaints, bladder troubles, in suppression of urine, dysentery, worms, diarrhoea, hysteria and nervous depression, haemoptysis and other haemorrhages and jaundice. For children troubled with incontinence of urine at night an infusion or tea given before retiring will be found effectual; it is also useful in pulmonary consumption, chronic catarrh of the lungs, bowels or urinary passages. Externally for fomentations to dispel hard tumours, caked breasts, ecchymosis, etc.
St John's wort is a perennial plant with extensive, creeping rhizomes. Its stems are erect, branched in the upper section, and can grow to 1 m high. It has opposing, stalkless, narrow, oblong leaves which are 12 mm long or slightly larger. The leaves are yellow-green in color, with transparent dots throughout the tissue and occasionally with a few black dots on the lower surface. Leaves exhibit obvious translucent dots when held up to the light, giving them a ‘perforated’ appearance, hence the plant's Latin name. Its yellow, five petaled flowers measure up to 2.5 cm across, have five petals, and are colored bright yellow with conspicuous black dots. The flowers appear in broad cymes at the ends of the upper branches, between late Spring and early to mid Summer.. The sepals are pointed, with glandular dots in the tissue. There are many stamens, which are united at the base into three bundles. When flower buds (not the flowers themselves) or seed pods are crushed, a reddish/purple liquid is produced.
|St. John's wort extracts may increase sensitivity to sunlight and risk of sunburn, but this is extremely rare when the whole herb is used.|