Hypericum perforatum – St. John’s wort (preparation and storage)

Hypericum perforatum perforatum (Z. ordinary) – Hypericum re foratum L. Ukrainian name – zvіrobіy zvichayny, popular names – hare krіvtsya, bloodthirsty, stokrovtsya, krishtalki; luminous potion, etc.


St. John’s wort family – Hypericaceae.

The herb is used for medicinal purposes.

It occurs throughout Ukraine, with the exception of the alpine zone of the Carpathians, and very rarely in the south of the republic. Grows among shrubs on forest edges and clearings, meadows, roadsides, forest belts. In the forest-steppe, in the south of the forest and in the north of the steppe regions, it occurs in places in significant quantities. Sometimes it forms sparse thickets on large areas (tens of hectares), especially on forest clearings that have begun to overgrow, in young forest plantations, on young fallows.

The average annual harvesting of St. John’s wort in the republic for three years (1974-1976) amounted to 554.5 g.

Stocks of raw materials are large (hundreds of tons of grass can be harvested annually). However, lean years are observed when the plant is less common than traditionally.

John’s wort is a perennial herbaceous plant. Rhizomes and roots are slightly branched, poorly developed. Stem one (or several), 30-100 cm high, oppositely branched in the upper part. Leaves sessile, entire-extreme. Flowers in inflorescences at the tops of stems and branches. Calyx and corolla five-membered. There are many stamens, fused at the base into three bunches. The fruits are multi-seeded trihedral capsules that open with three flaps. Seeds are small, dark brown, oblong. Blooms in June-August. The fruits ripen in September-October. When harvested early in years with a wet second half of summer, the aftergrowth grows and blooms in August.

Harvesting of other species of St. John’s wort, sometimes found in the same habitats where St. John’s wort grows, is not allowed. A number of external signs makes it possible to distinguish these plants.

Sometimes inexperienced pickers instead of St. John’s wort collect a slightly similar in leaves dyeing gorse Genista tinctoria L. from the legume family. It is a low shrub with upward branches, glabrous or sparsely hairy, with linear or lanceolate leaves without glands. The flowers are yellow, irregular, moth type, collected in a long dense brush. The fruits are oblong, naked, slightly bent beans.

St. John’s wort is harvested during flowering before the appearance of immature fruits, cutting off with knives or sickles the tops of plants 25-30 cm long without coarse leafless parts.

It is dried in attics under an iron roof, under sheds with good ventilation or in dryers at temperatures up to 40 °, spreading a thin layer (5-7 cm) on cloth, paper or sieves and stirring frequently. Sometimes the grass is tied into small bundles, which are hung to dry in the shade. The end of drying is determined by the fragility of the stems.

The yield of dry raw materials is 25%.

According to the Global Fund – X Art. 324, GOST 15161-69 raw material consists of stem tops, up to 30 cm long, with leaves, buds, flowers and partly immature fruits. The color of the stems and leaves is grayish-green, the petals of the corolla are bright yellow. The smell is weak, balsamic. The taste is slightly tart, bitter-salty. Humidity is not higher than 13%. Not more than (percent) is allowed in raw materials: stems and side branches – 50, crushed parts (passing through a sieve with a hole diameter of 2 mm) – 10, organic and mineral impurities – 1 each.

Ash content should not exceed 8%, extractives extracted with 40% alcohol should not be less than 25%.

Whole raw materials are packed, pressed, in bales of 50 kg, chopped – in bags of 20 kg. Store packed in dry, well-ventilated areas.

Storage period up to 3 years.

The herb contains dyes (hypericin, pseudohypericin, franguloemodin, anthranol, etc.), tannins (up to 10%), essential oil, flavonol glycosides (hyperoside, rutin, quercetin), carotene, vitamin C. Herb infusion, briquettes and tincture are used. as an astringent, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic agent for colitis, gingivitis, stomatitis. Imanin and Novoimanin, an antimicrobial and wound healing agent, are produced. It is used in surgery for infected wounds, boils, carbuncles, burns, etc. The herb is also used in the alcoholic beverage industry.

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