The herb is harvested just as the plant comes into bloom. A health-supporting oil can be prepared by soaking a handful of the fresh flowers in a cup of olive oil for about three weeks. The yellow flowers will turn the oil a deep blood-red color.
St. John's Wort oil has been a popular domestic supportive since ancient times. Externally it is applied to bruises, sprains, burns, skin irritations, or any laceration accompanied by severed nerve tissue. Internally a tea or liquid extract can be used to help support lung ailments, bladder infections, depressions, dysentery, diarrhea, and worms.
It has been highly esteemed as an antidepressant and sedative. It is resolvent, expectorant, nervine, and astringent. St. John's Wort contains phototoxins which may cause photodermatitis in fair-skinned persons who use the herb internally, then become exposed to bright sunlight. Because of this propensity, in 1977, the FDA put this herb on its "unsafe herb list"
St. John's Wort contains a glycoside - hypericine - (responsible for the plant's fluorescent red pigment and phototoxicity); the flavonoids quercetin, hypericin, and rutin, an essential oil, pectin and choline.
General Herb Information
Hypericum is a large genus with about 300 species. H. perforatum is a perennial herb growing from one to three feet high, native to Europe and naturalized in waste places and along roadsides in North America.
The stems are smooth, erect, and branching toward the top. The oblong, pale green leaves are sessile and about an inch long. The leaves are covered by translucent dots easily seen by holding the leaves up to light; these are the perforations of H. perforatum. The star-shaped golden yellow blossoms appear on terminal corymbs from June to August. The flowers are about an inch across and marked, especially along the margins, with minute dark dots and lines.
St. John's Wort is best propagated from root divisions made in spring or fall, or by spring cuttings.
It is not particular about soil conditions, growing in any average garden soil. It does like good drainage, a slightly acid situation, and full sun.
How to Use the Herb
Commission E notes that the herb can be used as a daily dose of 2-4 grams for internal use. The standardized supplement dose in Germany for internal use contains 0.3 percent hypericin. The drug starts to work after about six weeks for patients with mild to moderate depression.
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Anonymous - May 15, 2006, 18:45
Hello:My name is Pat from Colombia, south america, I am suffering of immsonia long ago, and I have st.johns wort caps, want to know if the expiration date is 2005 are they still good?
ZooScape Moderator - May 16, 2006, 08:34
You should definitely not be taking the St. John's Wort capsules that you currently have as they are past their expiration date. Regardless of whether a product is herbal or pharmaceutical, you should never consume them once they have expired.
May increase sun sensitivity, especially in fair skinned individuals.
Seek professional medical advise prior to taking this product, if you are taking any of the following medications, MAO-inhibiting anti-depressants, anti-coagulants, oral contraceptives, anti-epilepsy drugs, antiretroviral drugs (protease inhibitors) or immunosupressants.
End of More Photographs - St. John's Wort - 450 mg
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Products are intended to support general well being and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure any condition or disease. If conditions persist, please seek advice from your medical doctor. Information provided at ZooScape.com relies partly on Traditional Uses. The essence of the current American rule on Traditional Uses is, as stated by FTC, "Claims based on historical or traditional use should be substantiated by confirming scientific evidence, or should be presented in such a way that consumers understand that the sole basis for the claim is a history of use of the product for a particular purpose."