St. John’s wort

St. John’s wort – Hypericaceae (Guttiferae)

Popular names: blood grass, tough hay, Jesus wound grass, wound grass.

Parts Used: Above-ground part of the plant.

Pharmacy name: St. John’s wort – Hyperici herba (formerly: Herba Hyperici), St. John’s wort – Hyperici oleum (formerly: Oleum Hyperici).

Botanical description.Perennial plant, 25-40 cm tall. The stem is branched profusely at the top. Leaves opposite, elliptical or ovate, up to 1.5-3 cm long, entire, hairless, with translucent dots of oil glands. Five-membered golden-yellow flowers are collected in a paniculate inflorescence. St. John’s wort has three unusual features that make it easy to identify. First, it has a dihedral stem, which is very rare among plants; herbs have, as a rule, a rounded or tetrahedral stem. Secondly, if you look at young leaves against the light, then small bright dots are visible on them, as if the plant is perforated. These are places of glands with a light secret – a mixture of essential oil and resin. In 30% of them, yellow flowers, if rubbed between the fingers, change color to blood red. Blooms from July to September. St. John’s wort is very common in Europe.

Collection and preparation. St. John’s wort is harvested when it is in full bloom (on Ivan every day – June 24). It is cut off within the ground, tied into bundles and dried in the air in a shaded place.

Active ingredients: essential oil, flavonoids (rutin, quercitrin, hyperoside), resins, tannins and rhodan. However, the most important active ingredient is hypericin, which is also called hypericumrot. Worthy of mention and flobafeny.

Healing action and application.The components of this plant in their entirety stimulate the activity of the digestive (also biliary) organs and tone up blood circulation. Hypericin has a slightly sedative effect, has an effect on depressive states, especially associated with menopause. In the treatment of St. John’s wort after 4-6 weeks, you can see a clear improvement in mental state. Therefore, St. John’s wort can be considered as a herbal antidepressant. True, it does not act so strongly that they can treat real, severe endogenous depressions, especially menopausal ones. However, in so-called symptomatic and reactive depressions, St. John’s wort can largely replace chemical agents. In autonomic dystonia, it can be used as an adjunct to other measures. Interestingly, this medicinal plant is also used to treat bedwetting.

  • St. John’s wort tea: 2 teaspoons topped with herbs, pour 1/4 liter of water and heat to a boil. Strain after a few minutes. Dosage: 2-3 cups of tea every day. Treatment with this tea should be carried out systematically for several weeks. Since St. John’s wort increases light sensitivity, direct sunlight should probably be avoided during treatment. For external use, it is better to use St. John’s wort oil. It is successfully used as a rubbing for rheumatism and lumbago (lumbago), for healing wounds, relieving pain from tendon sprains, dislocations, hemorrhages and shingles.

The German National Health Service cites as indications for the use of St. John’s wort in the form of tea only nervous anxiety and sleep disturbance, also dyspepsia; for oil – as an external agent – muscle pain (myalgia), wounds and burns.

  • St. John’s wort oil: for 1/g l of oil, you need to take 25 g of raw materials. Fresh, freshly blossomed flowers are crushed or pounded in a mortar and carefully ground. Then 500 g of olive oil are added, mixed and poured into a wide-mouthed white glass bottle, which is first left uncovered. In a warm place, the mixture ferments (it is stirred from time to time). When fermentation is over after 3-5 days, the bottle is closed and kept in the sun until the contents turn bright red, after about 6 weeks. Then the oil is separated from the aqueous layer and stored in well-sealed bottles. St. John’s wort oil can also be used orally (1 teaspoon 2 times every day) as a mild choleretic agent or to calm an irritated stomach on a nervous basis.

Use in homeopathy. The whole flowering plant is used in the preparation of the homeopathic remedy Hypericum. It is given to alleviate the condition after a concussion, with depression of various nature and nerve pain as a result of injuries.

Application in nar one medicine. In folk medicine, as well as in science, St. John’s wort is used primarily for the treatment of wounds and the treatment of pain, then in the treatment of diseases of the lungs, stomach, intestines and gallbladder, with diarrhea and nervous disorders. Tea, oil, and an alcohol extract (tincture) are used equally, which is used to disinfect wounds.

St. John’s wort tincture: 10 g of dried herb is poured into 50 g of 70 96% alcohol and infused for 10 days. After pressing, the tincture is ready for use.

Side effects. Apart from the fact that St. John’s wort increases the sensitivity to light – and therefore direct sunlight should be avoided when treating with tea or oil – no side effects are known at the correct dosage. Even with long-term use, St. John’s wort is well tolerated.

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