St. John’s wort (Hypericum elongatum); St. John’s wort stretched out
Perennial herbaceous bare green plant of the St. John’s wort family. The stem is 20-40 cm tall, straight, cylindrical, with two indistinct elongated lines, branched at the top. The leaves are opposite, entire-edged, short-petioled, elongated, elongated linear or broad-linear, obtuse, with translucent speckled glands, wrapped around the edges. The flowers are regular, bisexual, collected in a narrow thin, elongated panicle 12—20 cm long, which consists of 1—5-flowered half-umbrellas; petals are elongated obovate, 3-4 times longer than the calyx, obtuse, unequal, with black glands on the edges, cephalic, on the legs and with whitish glandular streaks on the surface. Sepals are ovate, on the edge with rare black almost sessile capitate glands. The fruit is a box. Blooms in June – July.
Spread. St. John’s wort occurs on dry slopes in the Mountainous Crimea (Crimean Reserve and Hunting Farm).
Procurement and storage . Herbs (Herba Hyperici perforati) collected at the beginning of flowering of the plant are used to make medicines. The tops of stems with inflorescences covered with leaves are cut off, which are then tied into small bundles and dried, hanging them in rooms closed from the sun or in the attic. Artificial drying is carried out at a temperature of up to 40°. Drying is considered complete when the stems become brittle. 28-29% of dry raw materials are obtained. Store in a dry place protected from light. The shelf life is 3 years. Raw materials are sold by pharmacies.
Chemical composition . The grass of the plant contains tannins (10-12%), flavonoids (hyperoside, rutin, quercitrin, myricetin, leukoanthocyanins), saponins, dyes (hypericin – 0.1-0.4%, pseudohypericin, hyperin, frangulaemodinanthranol), essential oil ( 0.2-0.3%), resinous substances (17%), carotene and ascorbic acid.
Pharmacological properties and use. Most often, St. John’s wort extracted is used for diseases of the digestive tract. This is explained by the fact that its drugs reduce spasms of the intestines and biliary tract, normalize the excretory function of the gastric glands, expand blood vessels, increase blood circulation, have an anti-inflammatory effect on the mucous membranes of the digestive tract, an astringent and bacteriostatic effect. The use of St. John’s wort extract is indicated and gives a good therapeutic effect in dyskinesias of the biliary tract, hepatitis, stagnation of bile in the gallbladder, cholecystitis, gallstone disease (in the initial stage), hypoacid gastritis, flatulence, acute and chronic colitis, simple and bloody diarrhea and hemorrhoids . As a diuretic, St. John’s wort is used for kidney stone disease (in the initial stage) and when the filtration capacity of the kidneys is reduced. Tincture of St. John’s wort proved to be effective for infestation by pinworms (hymenolepidosis and enterobiosis). St. John’s wort preparations relieve spasm of blood vessels (especially capillaries), improve venous circulation and blood supply to some internal organs, and have a capillary-strengthening effect. In some cases, St. John’s wort is prescribed for peripheral blood circulation disorders with stagnation phenomena, for microcirculatory disorders. The peculiarity of this plant is its ability to increase the sensitivity of the skin to ultraviolet rays. The photosensitizing properties of the plant are associated with the presence of hypericin in it and are used in the treatment of vitiligo. St. John’s wort preparations are also effective for disorders of the nervous system, neurodystonia, migraine, and nocturnal incontinence in children. With local application, St. John’s wort shows its anti-inflammatory effect with particular force, astringent and bacteriostatic properties. So, St. John’s wort oil is successfully used for burns, gingivitis, facial pityriasis (Pityriasis simplex faciei), shin ulcers, and for wound healing. In dentistry, St. John’s wort infusion and tincture are used to rinse the mouth and lubricate the gums in case of bad breath, gingivitis, and stomatitis. In gynecological practice, an infusion of the herb is used for douching in inflammatory diseases of the vagina, and St. John’s wort oil (in the form of tampons) is used for the treatment of cervical erosion. In traditional medicine, in addition to all the above-mentioned cases, St. John’s wort is used for polyarthritis, sciatica, gout, pulmonary tuberculosis with hemoptysis, mastopathy, various inflammatory processes, boils, etc. The antibacterial product of St. John’s wort Novoimanin (Novoimaninum) is used for the treatment of burns and various purulent processes in otorhinolaryngologists. In Bulgaria, St. John’s wort is used to produce the product Peflavit (Peflavit C), which is used for capillarotoxicosis, acute glomerulonephritis, atherosclerosis, etc.
Medicinal forms and applications .
Internally – a decoction of the herb (10 g, or one and a half tablespoons of raw material per 200 ml of boiling water) for a third of a glass 3 times a day 30 minutes before meals;
herbal tincture (in a ratio of 1:5, on 40% alcohol) 40-50 drops 3-4 times a day;
herbal infusion for expelling worms (15 g of raw material per 100 ml of boiling water) 90-150 ml 3 times a day for three days (for children from one to seven years old), on the last day they give a laxative salt, and in total three such cycles are carried out with intervals 10-12 days;
a steam of one tablespoon of a mixture of St. John’s wort, common yarrow, and angelica roots (equally) in a glass of boiling water is drunk half an hour before bedtime in case of mental fatigue, nervous tension, and insomnia.
Externally – St. John’s wort oil (20 g of fresh flowers per 200 ml of sunflower oil, infused for 14 days, strained) for lubrication of diseased areas;
herbal tincture (in a ratio of 1:5, on 40% alcohol) 30-40 drops per half glass of water for rinsing;
herbal infusion (2 tablespoons of raw material per 200 ml of boiling water, infuse until cool, strain) for douching (diluted with warm boiled water in a ratio of 1:5 before use);
a mixture of St. John’s wort grass, common oak bark, nettle roots, white rose petals, cumin blossoms, common buckwheat grass, white mistletoe, white willow bark, common flax seeds, comfrey roots, althea medicinal, pepper mustard herb and marigold flowers (in proportion) prepare as a decoction (4 tablespoons of the mixture per 2-3 liters of boiling water, boil for 20 minutes, immediately strain) and use it warm for douching twice a day (morning and evening) in case of baldness.