St John’s Wort
Scientific Name/Common Name: Hypericum perforatum / St. John’s Wort
Part(s) Used: Flower
Constituents/Active Ingredients: the naphthodianthrones, hypericin, and pseudohypericin, a broad range of flavonoids, and the phloroglucinols hyperforin and adhyperforin.
Overview: St. John’s Wort is an herbaceous perennial (wort is the Old English name for plant) that has been used as a medicine for psychological complaints and mild mood disorders, as well as externally for wound healing, for over 2,000 years. Traditional St. John’s wort Oil Extracts are made using the freshly picked blossoms that are placed in certified organic olive oil and extracted in sunlight for many days until the oil turns a characteristic red color. Standardized extracts of St. John’s wort have been the subject of numerous clinical studies for depression.
Traditional Use/Benefits/Body Systems: Traditionally used in Herbal Medicine to help relieve restlessness and/or nervousness (sedative and/or calmative); to improve mood; oil extracts have been used internally to soothe the digestive system and used topically for nerve pain and minor skin abrasions.
Clinical Studies/Scientific Research/References:
Mills S, Bone K. 2005. The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety. St. Louis (MO): Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.
Hoffmann D. 2003. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester (VT): Healing Arts Press.
Linde K, Berner MM, Kriston L. St John’s wort for major depression. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Oct 8;(4):CD000448.Review.
Disclaimer: This information in our Herbal Encyclopedia is intended only as a general reference for educational purposes. It is not a replacement for medical advice. This content does not provide dosage information, cautions/contraindications, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Please consult any relevant product labels for detailed information on use and with a medical practitioner for individual health advice.