Saint Johns Wort
  Hypericum Perforatum

Saint Johns Wort�s compound Hypericin used as an anti-depressant also increases blood flow to stressed tissue. As liniment or poultice over the spine relieves sciatica.Saint Johns Wort was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans to ward against evil spirits; sprigs of the plant were placed upon the statues of their gods.  During medieval times, the Europeans used the plant to treat all forms of madness and thought the plant to have many magical properties since it blooms near the Summer Solstice.

Here is a great legend regarding how it may have gotten its name.  It was used during the Crusades about 1048 AD as a battlefield medication by Saint John of Jerusalem.  He used the herb to heal the terrible battle wounds suffered by the soldiers.  The herb worked so well as a balm for cleaning and healing wounds that were dirty, putrid and even septic that legends were built around its power and the man who used it.

Paracelsus, a medical authority of the Renaissance wrote of using Saint Johns Wort to treat wounds. He was also the first to mention using it for psychotic symptoms, which he called �phatasmata�.  During our Civil War, soldiers report in their journals of collecting and using Saint Johns Wort to treat battle wounds.  Many soldier record the use of a wine made with Saint Johns Wort that would steady the nerves.

Perhaps the most important writing on the psychological use of Saint Johns Wort came in 1630AD when Agelo Sala stated that Saint Johns Wort had an excellent reputation for treating illnesses of the imagination, melancholia, anxiety and disturbances of understanding.  He wrote, �Saint Johns Wort cures these disorders as quick as lightening.�

The compound Hypericin was isolated form Saint Johns Wort in 1942 and has been used as an anti-depressant for emotionally disturbed people.  This tranquilizing quality from small quantities of hypericin increase blood flow to stressed tissue.  There is a reduced capillary fragility and enhanced uterine tone due to the increased hypotensive blood flow.    

Saint Johns Wort relieves pain, it has a sedative effect, and it is used for treatment of neuralgia, anxiety and nervous tension.  It can be applied as liniment or poultice to relieve pain, for treatment over the spine for relief of nervous diseases that are related to the spine, sciatica, neuralgia, rheumatic pains, as a lotion for pain relief, eases burses.

Saint Johns Wort is also known to be useful. for pulmonary complaints (the release of phlegm in the lungs), bladder trouble, suppression of urine, dysentery, worms and nervous depression.  The herb is an excellent  treatment for chronic uterine problems and will correct irregular and painful menstruation.  The herb also contains an alkaloid that is a heart and artery stimulant.   

If you are using an anti-depressant and you would prefer to use Saint Johns Wort, check for contraindications (things you should not take with your medication), also consult with your physician. There is a report of a side effect from taking Saint Johns Wort.  In Australia, where Saint Johns Wort is a rampant weed, it has killed pale-pigmented sheep and goats by inducing photosensitivity.  If an animal or a light skinned human eats the plant, exposure to direct sun may cause dermatitis, inflammation of mucus membranes.  Though Pharmacognosist Varro tyler, Ph.D., points out in his book The Honest Herbal that problems rarely result from normal doses.

Sources:
Little Herb Encyclopedia, by Jack Ritchason; N.D., Woodland Publishing Incorporated, 1995
Nutritional Herbology, by Mark Pedersen, Wendell W. Whitman Company, 1998
Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs, Rodale Press, Emmaus, Pennsylvania 1987
The Ultimate Healing System, Course Manual, Copyright 1985, Don Lepore
Planetary Herbology, Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., Lotus Press, 1988

 

 

 

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Important Note:
The information presented herein by The Natural Path Botanicals is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

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