St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum): Medicine of the Sun
The longest day and highest peak of the sun welcomes blooming swaths of St. John’s Wort (SJW)- a definitive sign that Summer has arrived. Not only is this delicate yellow flower enjoyable to the eye, it holds a wide variety of important medicinal uses. While SJW is often used to treat conditions of the Nervous System, it also has some less commonly known uses.
- One of the most widely used herbs for mild-moderate depression, especially during the darker winter months. Not effective for bi-polar or severe cases of depression.
- Helps reduce anxiety and frustration. Great for menopausal outbursts!
- Indicated for Nerve Pain, such as sciatica, pinched nerves, rheumatic conditions, toothaches
- Alleviates muscle tension and spasm – use topically for back spasm, TMJ, etc.
- Speeds the healing of skin wounds and sunburns
- Can be taken internally to alleviate gastritis and help heal ulcers
- Has anti-viral action- Great for painful shingle outbreaks!
- Supports Liver health in a gentle way
Cautions: The use of SJW is contraindicated with the use of several pharmaceutical drugs, including but not limited to SSRI’s (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor), oral contraceptives, anti-epileptic drugs and calcium channel blockers. Please consult your doctor before using. There have been a few cases of increased photosensitivity have been reported with large doses.
Fun Fact: Did you know the tincture or infused oil of SJW turns bright red due to the active constituent Hypericum?!
Medical Herbalism- David Hoffman
Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West- Michael Moore
The Way of Herbs – Michael Tierra