St. John’s wort – Hypericaceae (Guttiferae).
Parts Used: Bark, sometimes leaves.
Pharmacy name: haronga bark – Harongae cortex (formerly: Cortex Harongae), haronga leaves – Harongae folium (formerly: Folia Harongae).
Botanical description.. Haronga grows in Madagascar, Central and East Africa. This tree is 2 to 12 m tall, with very large, symmetrically arranged leaves. Small flowers are collected at the ends of the branches in an umbrella-shaped inflorescence. On the discovery of raw materials. About 50 years ago, a research expedition in Madagascar discovered that many of the harongi trees growing near settlements had peeled bark in places. In addition, it turned out that the natives, after a plentiful and fatty meal, chew pieces of some plant as a dessert. It was found that this is the bark of the haronga, and this use of it contributes to a better digestion of fatty foods. The raw materials were taken for research and, as a result, an amazing discovery was made: the raw materials contain substances that radically promote digestion, especially when the pancreas and liver do not work very well.
Collection and preparation. The bark is removed from large shrubs and trees and dried in the air. Young leaves are cut off and also air-dried in the shade.
Active ingredients: leukocyanins, hypericin-like compounds, tannins, flavonoids.
Healing action and application. We do not use raw materials for making tea. In pharmacies, you can buy a ready-made extract from the bark called Harongan®. With its help, acute and chronic digestive disorders are successfully treated, accompanied by a feeling of overeating, bloating, gases. This product is especially effective if the functions of the pancreas, liver and gallbladder are impaired, and heavy fatty foods are not digested because of this. In addition to the bark and products made from it, the locals also use the leaves, mainly for the treatment of mild digestive disorders and wounds. The composition of the leaves contains substances similar in some respects to those contained in our St. John’s wort. This is not surprising since both plants belong to the same botanical family.
Side effects. Since we use only ready-made products from haronga, if the correct dosage is observed, side effects should not be feared.