10 Reasons to Love the Herb St. John’s Wort

The popular herb St. Johnís Wort (Hypericum perforatum) often gets an eyebrow raise from the media, even in the face of whole volumes of research espousing its effectiveness for many health concerns. However, St. John’s Wort is one of the best mood-lifting, anti-stress, and anti-depressant herbs out there. But there are many more reasons to reinstate St. John’s Wort as the amazing healing herb it is.† Iíve compiled ten of my favorite research-supported uses for St. Johnís Wortóall of which are reasons to love this versatile and highly effective herb.

Depression
While the world of psychology continues to question St. Johnís Wort, study after study proves its effectiveness for depression, particularly mild to moderate depression. Some studies demonstrate that it is as effective as anti-depressant drugs. While there are fewer studies examining St. Johnís Wortís effectiveness against major depression, it has also been found to be helpful in this regard. Exciting research in the Journal of Zhejiang University Medical Sciences shows that the combination of St. Johnís Wort and the nutrient quercetin boost the effects of the herb. Plus, St. Johnís Wortís safety record is far superior to drugs used for depression.

Anxiety
Research published in the medical journal Phytotherapy Research showcases St. Johnís Wortís effectiveness as a natural anti-anxiety medicine. While many people attempt to attribute the herbís anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effects to the naturally-present compound hypericin, the reality is that St. Johnís Wort is a highly complex herb with many different active compounds, including: naphthodianthrones, xanthones, flavonoids, phloroglucinols (hyperforin) and hypericin. Because pharmaceutical drugs tend to contain one substance intended to function using one active mechanism in the body, we often try to compartmentalize herbs in the same way, when they repeatedly show greater effectiveness as a whole than as individual compounds.

Wound Healing
St. Johnís Wort flowers have traditionally been macerated into oil to make a natural dressing for wounds. And research examining this application found it to be highly effective in the treatment and healing of wounds.

Cancer
Exciting research in the online journal PLoS One found that hypericin found in St. Johnís Wort was highly effective against a type of cancer, melanoma, using three different mechanisms to cause cancer cells to die.

Diabetic Neuropathy
Research published in the Italian medical journal Fitoterapia found that St. Johnís Wort and feverfew flower extracts were highly effective against the pain of diabetic neuropathy. Whatís more is that the herbal medicine proved comparable to three different drugs used for the condition.

Migraines
St. Johnís Wort has proven itself effective for other types of pain as well, namely in the treatment of migraines. Research published in the medical journal Phytomedicine found that St. Johnís Wort blocked pain receptors involved in migraines, making it an effective natural treatment for migraine sufferers.

Menopause
Research published in the medical journal Menopause found that St. Johnís Wort significantly reduced the frequency and severity of hot flashes in menopausal, perimenopausal, and post-menopausal women. Perimenopause is considered the ten years prior to menopause. Post-menopause begins one year after periods have altogether stopped.

Alzheimerís and Dementia
Swiss scientists published a novel study in the medical journal Brain Pathology, in which they found that St. Johnís Wort has a protective effect against beta-amyloid plaques linked with Alzheimerís disease.

Parkinsonís disease
Exciting new research in the medical journal Cell and Molecular Neurobiology found that St. Johnís Wort holds promise in the treatment of Parkinsonís disease.

Antioxidant Activity
The same study published in Cell and Molecular Neurobiology also found that St. Johnís Wort has potent antioxidant activity, meaning that it destroys harmful free radicals before they can do damage to the cells and tissues of the body. Because free radical damage is involved in aging and many diseases, these findings suggest that St. Johnís Wort may have many other far-reaching applications.

St. Johnís Wort is available in capsule, tablet, dried flowers, in teabags, tincture (alcohol extract), glycerite (glycerin extract) and oil forms. The oil form is suitable for skin applications such as wounds or to alleviate the pain of diabetic neuropathy. Simply apply the oil two to three times daily until you experience symptom improvement. For capsules, tablets, teas, tinctures, and glycerites, follow package instructions as they differ greatly from one product to another. While some people prefer supplements containing only one of the active ingredients in St. Johnís WortóhypericinóI prefer tinctures of the plant since they contain a wider range of active ingredients. Depending on the application, you may need to allow up to several weeks to notice results.

Because some drugs can interact with St. Johnís Wort, avoid combining certain pharmaceutical drugs with St. Johnís wort. Check with your pharmacist to see if medications you may be taking interact with St. Johnís Wort. Never discontinue depression medications without consulting your physician. Additionally, while St. Johnís Wort is actually quite safe, it can cause photosensitivity in some people.

 

For more information about St. Johnís Wort, check out this informative and entertaining video from well-known herbalist, Yarrow Willard. For more information about natural approaches to cancer, check out my e-book CANCER-PROOF.

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190 comments

W. C
W. C7 months ago

Thanks.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you

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Angela K.
Angela K3 years ago

Thank you

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill3 years ago

thanks

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Dianne D.
Dianne D3 years ago

I thought there was a limit on how much you could take of this, but I'll look into it more.

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Nikki Davey
Nikki Davey3 years ago

Very interesting article thanks. Will read more.

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Rachel Nichols
Rachel Nichols3 years ago

ty

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Peter F.
Peter F3 years ago

Thanks for sharing!

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Catrin NoForwardsPlease

Thanks, please not forget that St. Johns Wort is not a good thing to take depending what prescription meds you are on.

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sandra vito
Sandra Vito3 years ago

Gracias

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