St. John's Wort: Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, Dosage, Warnings?


ST. JOHN'S WORT: Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, Dosage, Warnings?
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St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum L.)
Written by Phytotherapy The 07/05/2014 • Category: Medicinal Plants

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Wort medicinal properties
Millepertuis origins
composition Wort
Wort dosage and dosage
Millepertuis benefits
Contraindications and interactions Wort
Wort side effects
Scientific Opinion Wort
Hypericum Associations

The St. John's Wort , also known as Herb of St. John, is a beautiful plant with yellow flowers used since ancient times as a natural remedy for various problems, including anxiety and mild depression . It seems that even the Templars used this plant, not only as a healing agent for wounds and burns, but also the morale of the knights who, after the battles were sometimes forced to spend long periods bedridden.

St. John's Wort
St. John's Wort
This plant is still considered a natural anti-depressant and is used alone or in combination with other natural remedies such as valerian , the passion , the griffonia, etc; for depression, even if it also has a component of anxiety and sleep disorders. For the first benefits, it should take St. John's wort for at least two weeks and continue treatment for about two or three months, depending on the situation.

The antidepressant action of this plant is due to its ability to increase levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters acting on sleep and mood, and regulate the production of melatonin .

Today, the St. John's Wort is used for anxiety, depression, and mild to moderate sleep disorders .

In Europe, especially in Germany, St. John's wort is widely used to treat depression, while in the United States, the interests of people with healthcare herbal medicine is important, but the virtues of this herb is not supported by the FDA, there are some medical prescriptions.

Depression and St. John's Wort
Depression and St. John's Wort
Depression is a disease that affects millions of adults around the world each year; Mood, thoughts, physical health, and behavior that can manifest the signs and symptoms of depression are:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, or feeling of being "empty"
  • Feelings of hopelessness and / or pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, feelings of worthlessness
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that the person once enjoyed
  • Fatigue and loss of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating, unhappy memories of details and / or "bad" past decisions
  • Insomnia, early morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Too much appetite or loss of appetite
  • Suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts
  • Pain persistent headaches, cramps , difficult to treat digestive problems

Depression can take many forms and symptoms and severity vary from person to person.

For example:

In major depression, also called major depressive disorder, the symptoms interfere with the ability of a person to work, study, sleep, eat, and take pleasure in formerly enjoyable activities. Symptoms can last for 2 weeks, but can often continue for several months or longer.

In dysthymia, also called dysthymia, a less severe but more chronic depression, the symptoms of people are not as debilitating, but prevent them to do well or feeling good. Symptoms can last up to 2 years. Many people with dysthymia also go through bouts of severe depression.

In bipolar disorder, also called manic depression, people have periods of depressive symptoms that alternate or may co-exist with periods of great joy. Symptoms of mania include elevated and abnormal levels of excitement and energy, as well as impulsive and inappropriate behavior.

Finally, mild forms of depression fall into the category of minor depression. People experience the same symptoms as major depression, but they are less extensive in time and less disabling. Symptoms last for a long period of at least 6 months but less than 2 consecutive years generally.

Depression can be effectively treated with allopathic medicine, psychologists and medications, including antidepressants, and certain types of psychotherapy, but also herbal medicine, aromatherapy, and many holistic medicines. The wort is part of the therapeutic arsenal that can reduce depression and its symptoms, and also heal and cure.

Wort medicinal properties
The wort is used in herbal medicine for internal use for its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antidepressant, antiviral, soothing and healing properties; for use externally, it has photoprotective properties, soothing, healing, astringent and eudermic.

The mash wort can also be used for internal use in the treatment of depression, dystonia, gastritis, ulcer. When used externally, the herb St. John is appropriate to protect the skin against the sun's rays, to moisturize dry skin, oily or lifeless hair, heal wounds, burns, ulcers and itching .

The parts of the plant are used in herbal medicine: flowering tops, made from flowers, but also the leaves and stem pieces (top).

The therapeutic properties are:

  • Sedative
  • antidepressant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • antiseptic
  • healing

Therapeutic use:

  • Internal use: minor depression, anxiety, autonomic dystonia, gastritis and gastric ulcer (oily macerate)

  • External use: wounds, burns, ulcers, itching , rash, scrapes and abrasions of skin, ...

  • St. John's Wort and its aerial parts in and infusions are also used.

St. John's wort therefore has useful properties such as anti-inflammatory , antiseptic , healing, sedative and anti-depressant.
It features an "action for modulating the tone of the mood," its effects appear after a few weeks and treatment generally lasts three months. It is an antidepressant, very effective forms of anxious depression. Taken with valerian , its effect can be likened to the effect of a tricyclic antidepressant but in this case it is always best to consult a doctor. It can be prescribed for children (under medical supervision) for problems of enuresis (bedwetting) and suffering from anxiety related to fear, mood swings, anxiety, depression, nervous agitation of autonomic disorders.

St. John's wort and depression
St. John's wort and depression
St. John's wort is an antidepressant used primarily in cases of mild depression and not endogenous. This is a very good antiviral, valid forms of depressive anxious nature, autonomic nature, mood swings, anxiety, insomnia, sadness, melancholy and nervous agitation. It improves the immune system useful in the autonomic dystonia, peptic ulcers, gastritis, in the gastro-duodenitis. It can be taken internally when we are depressed, in cases of insomnia, relieve neuralgia, chronic injury or trauma, to stop diarrhea, muscle aches effort as an analgesic, antispasmodic, and without sedative narcotic effect.

When used in the context of depression, it is commonly prescribed for a few months and then distilled his undoubted beneficial properties on the nervous system and spinal cord. St John's wort is also used for cramps menstrual, congestion in the chest and as an immunostimulant.

Also useful in the case of Herpes Simplex; with honey and lemon , hypericum has the ability to prevent colds and chills.
's red juice made ​​from the herb St. John, restores strength and vitality, activates the immune system, helps with fatigue , anxiety and insomnia.

The essential oil obtained from the flowers of St. John's wort is used mainly for external use in the case of pain, as antiseptic for pimples and boils, in the case of wounds, sores, itching , burning , of hemorrhoids , skin eruptions. It has anti-inflammatory, refreshing and healing. It is used aesthetically for dry, chapped and dull and devitalized or oily hair.

Wort origins
St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum L.), otherwise known as Herb of St. John, is a herbaceous plant of the family Hypericaceae.

St. John's Wort is native to Europe, but it is now also used in other parts of the world. St. John's Wort grows well in sunny areas and fallow fields.
St. John's wort has its roots in ancient Greece and in relation to medicinal uses made ​​at that time.

The herb St. John has a long tradition in popular usage:

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, Dioscorides, the most famous physician of ancient Greece, and Pliny the Elder in ancient Rome used it to cure many diseases.

Hypericum Latin name comes from Greek and means "against the ghosts' because it was believed at that time that the grass away evil spirits, who could not stand the smell. Another popular name is Hypericum herb St. John.
ancient In traditional medicine, the herb St. John was already used to treat injuries (due to its high antibacterial and antiviral properties) kidneys and lungs, but also to heal ... what we now call depression.
used to cast out demons and placed on sacred images, among the components of hypericum, we have an essential oil and phenolic derivatives including a red color pigment called hypericin. It follows the name Herb of St. John, because the color red recalls the blood shed by the saint when he was beheaded by Salome.

Wort composition
The active ingredients are flavonoids characteristics such as hyperin, rutin, quercetin, the biflavoïdes; of naphtodianthrones like hypericins, hyperforin, essential oil, tannins and procyanidins in small amounts, vitamins A and C, choline.

His flavones act directly on the nervous system by binding to receptors responsible for sending signals acting to relax the brain.
these flavonoids , fight symptoms such as pallor, bruxism (teeth grinding) heaviness in the stomach, sweating , dry mouth.
The amentoflavone, has sedative properties, and can also be used in cases of inflammation and peptic ulcers. It also contains tannins, whose active ingredients promote circulation and strengthen the heart and activity of the heart muscle.

St. John's wort dosage and dosage
According to several recent studies, there is no data showing toxicity in overdose.

St. John's wort dosage and dosage
St. John's wort dosage and dosage
It is possible to use the herb St John in various forms: tablets and teas (for depression), ointments and oils for external use, when you need a disinfectant and a cure wound. It seems that especially St. John's wort oil is a real cure for skin problems and as an anti-aging effect. Apply it every night before going to sleep on the face and neck allows for good results, sometimes even better than the best-known anti-wrinkle and anti-ages cosmetics.
wort oil can also be applied in minor burns, wounds, dry skin, fungi on scars, stretch marks and for psoriasis.

Internally, according to most clinical studies, the optimal dose of St. John's wort is 300 mg hypericum extract containing 0.3 percent hypericin (the active ingredient of hypericum), three times a day . The dose of 300 mg is contained in a single tablet or capsule.

According to some studies, tablet per meal - breakfast, lunch, dinner - is a convenient and effective way to take St. John's wort. According to others, two doses of 300 mg at breakfast and a third dose at lunch or dinner provides the best results.

Because St. John's wort is so well tolerated by the body, experiences related to his strengths and dosages have fewer results to those resulting from experiments performed with traditional medicines.

Because side effects are rare, even at significantly higher doses, it is possible (under medical examination), for example, to take four capsules of 250 mg per day.

Very young children taking St. John's wort under medical supervision typically take a total of 300 mg per day, while the slightly older kids can go up to 600 mg daily. For teenagers, the herbalist doctor may recommend a dose for an adult.

The effectiveness of hypericum in treating depression is not generally appreciated that after six weeks of treatment with a daily dose of 900 mg. Similar to the conventional antidepressant, the effect of Hypericum occurs gradually. The research, however, indicates that in general, hypericum takes longer than traditional antidepressants to achieve maximum effect.

St. John's wort benefits
In recent years, research has been done on the potential usefulness of Hypericum and hypericin.
Below some of the latest research:


A team of researchers recently found that hyperforin has anti-angiogenic properties, which fight cells forming blood vessels of tumors.
mechanism through inhibition of NFkB molecule, a master switches of inflammation inflammatory and angiogenesis. It also blocks the migration of the endothelium in response to inflammatory cytokines.


Hypericin may interfere with the polymerization process of beta-amyloid peptides linked to the occurrence of Alzheimer's disease. Researchers have shown that hypericin, by intermolecular interactions of aromatic / hydrophobic type, may be associated precursors of mature fibrils, inhibiting their formation.
Alzheimer's disease is characterized by the formation and accumulation of aggregates protein in the brain of amyloid fibrils form very stable and insoluble; Several studies seem to agree on the idea that toxicity is due to smaller aggregates present in the early stages and intermediate process of fibril formation: these oligomers "pre-fibrillar" soluble and unstable, have a strong tendency to interact with biological macromolecules and cellular structures.
Hypericin, as many aromatic molecules, thanks to their physico-chemical properties, can interact with beta-amyloid peptides, receiver and inactivates toxic forms.

Cons-indications and interactions Millepertuis
Avoid the use of the herb St. John, in high doses, especially if you are taking antidepressants.
St. John's wort should not be used in conjunction with antidepressants such as haloperidol, paroxetine, trazodone, sertraline , nefazodone. When using benzodiazepines, there is flat not encounter cases of interaction.
Prolonged use and high doses cause photosensitivity, especially in fair-skinned people. It is therefore necessary to avoid exposure to the sun during the hottest hours, during the period of use. It is against-indicated in elderly people suffering from hypertension blood pressure, vascular disease, in case of severe headache.
St. John's wort should not be used during pregnancy and during the nursing period, and in children of less than 2 years. If combined with substances that contain MAOI, it can cause a dangerous increase in blood pressure resulting in headaches, nausea, vomiting , stiff neck, the smoothness of the skin.
St. John's Wort should not be associated with amphetamines, narcotics, inhalants for asthma, nasal decongestants and drugs against allergic cooling.

Before using St. John's Wort, there are important considerations to make, since this plant is very powerful and may conflict with other medications, increase efficiency or cancel allopathic treatments.

When combined with certain antidepressants, St. John's wort may also see an increase in side effects such as nausea, anxiety, headache, and confusion.

Some data suggest that it may reduce fertility in men (by reducing the number and motility of sperm) and female; data are still lacking for some, it is recommended not to use it during a search of procreation.

Do not use St. John's wort:

1 / If you use products birth control like the pill or contraceptive patch. The grass taking St jean can reduce the effect therefore the possibility of facing an unwanted pregnancy.
2 / When taking antidepressants
3 / If you are under treatment with irinotecan and other anticancer drugs
4 / If you are taking anticoagulants such as warfarin
5 / During treatment with cyclosporine, digoxin or indinavir, respectively useful in the case of organ transplants, heart problems or HIV .

Do not take this herbal remedy during pregnancy and lactation.

St. John's wort side effects
The most common side effects of St. John include dry mouth, dizziness, diarrhea, nausea, increased to sunlight sensitivity, and fatigue.

Scientific Millepertuis
In 1994, the "Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology" devoted an entire issue to the virtues of St. John's wort, where 17 research were published, and it was then that St. John's wort was introduced as a new antidepressant.

Wort Scientific Advice
Wort Scientific Advice
Among the research, one of them evaluated the effects of the herb St John on more than 3,000 patients in mild depression or moderate. The results were startling, as 80% of these patients saw a significant improvement in their depression-related symptoms or they disappear completely; they then received treatment St. John's wort for only one month.
In August 1996, the famous "British Medical Journal" published a summary of twenty scientifically validated studies, which were enumerating almost 1,800 patients with depression. This summary was undertaken by American and German scientists; He showed about St. John's wort compared with placebo, it's three more effective.
According Cynthia Mulrow, Dr at Texas University, St. John's Wort can be considered an alternative to antidepressants and reasonable allopathic treatment.

Associations Millepertuis
- For the low morale and mild depression can be associated St. John's Wort and Rhodiola
- For early mornings , one can associate the Wort and Passiflora
- For mood disorders, one can associate the Wort and Lemon Balm
- Related: St. John's Wort Tea , St. John's Wort Oil , Oil of St. John's Wort

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St. John's Wort

St. John's Wort Photo of St. John's Wort Easy to grow and adaptable to any terrain in full sun or partial shade, this shrub covering plant with beautiful bright yellow flowering will be very useful to fill nicely in your garden ungrateful locations.

Identity card
Species and varieties
A little history ...
Plantation St. John's Wort
Culture and maintenance of hypericum
Size wort
Multiplication of Hypericum
Harvest wort
Diseases, pests and parasites
Green Tips
ID Card: St. John's Wort
Name (s) Common (s): St. John's Wort herb St. John
Name (s) Latin (s): Hypericum
Family: Clusiaceae
Type (s) of plant:
Shrub, shrub flowers, flowering plant, Herb or medicinal
Leaf color
Flower color
Vegetation i Vivace | Annual
Foliage i Persistent | Semi-evergreen | Deciduous
Form i Spread or lining | Bushy
Maximum height i 0.15 to 1.50 m
Maintenance i Easy
Water requirement i Average
Growth i Par
Multiplication i Division | Propagation | Layering
Cold resistance (hardiness) i Resistant (rustic)
Exhibition i Sun | Partial shade | Shadow
Use i Balcony or terrace | Flooring | Solid or border | Rockery
Plantation i The ground | Bac, pot or planter
Soil type i Limestone | Sandy | Stony | Humus, compost
Soil pH i Neutral
Soil moisture i Drained soil
Planting or seeding
March April May
June July August
September October November
December Jan. February
March April May
June July August
September October November
December Jan. February
March April May
June July August
September October November
December Jan. February
March April May
June July August
September October November
December Jan. February
St. John's wort belongs to the genus Hypericum and family Hypericaceae (or Clusiaceae from the classification commonly used).
The wild species ( Hypericum perforatum ), an upright and multiple small flowers port colonize wasteland and across talus. It is known and used for its medicinal properties since ancient times.
Grown, it is a shrubby plant, great ground cover, which offers all summer many large flowers bright yellow in terminal clusters together who are far. It will fall to a multitude of small, round, colorful fruits.
Most crop species in our country are evergreen shrubs or semi-persistent (some annual) and range in size from 0.15 to 1.50 m. But there is, in other climates, species forming small trees up to 10 meters high.
Foliage wort, usually persistent in winter (depending on species and climates), consists of oval or lance-shaped leaves of deep green. These sheets are carriers of many small holes that can be seen by transparency in the sun and are at the origin of the current name of St. John's wort: in old French, a pertui is a passage.
Their root system rhizomatous allows them to grow by spreading, by issuing new stems.
Wildlife species, Hypericum perforatum , in addition to its decorative use in the garden are also grown for medicinal use in herbal medicine. In capsules, extracts, tincture or red oil, it is widely used both for its action against mild depression that to heal wounds or minor burns.
However, do not use it without professional advice (including pharmacist) because, firstly, like grapefruit, its effects interfere with those of many drugs (antidepressants, anticoagulants, antiretrovirals, anticonvulsants, oral contraceptives ... ), on the other hand, he can not afford to treat severe depression and finally, it can also have a variety of adverse side effects such as sun photosensitizing effect.
Types and varieties of hypericum

The genus Hypericum comprises about 400 species distributed worldwide.
Most are shrubs and some multiply spontaneously emitting stolons .
They differ in particular by their size more or less high, the foliage of different colors, more or less persistent or fruit color and different appearance. But all are resistant to cold (at least down to -15 ° C), are disease resistant and drought tolerant.
Dwarf species Hypericum reptans Red flower buttons. Height not exceeding 5-10 cm. deciduous foliage turning red in autumn.

Shrub. lining Port.

Hypericum olympicum f. uniflorum Pale yellow flowers in June-July. Height:. 20cm blue-gray foliage fell.

Shrub. floriferous.

Hypericum olympicum f. uniflorum
Medium-sized species Hypericum calycinum Large golden flowers from June to October. Height: 30-40 cm. evergreen foliage and leathery. rounded clump.

Shrub. Vigorous strain that spreads its stolons. deep rooting. Perfect for slope and ground cover.

Hypericum calycinum
Hypericum x moserianum 'Tricolor' Late flowering from July to September. 0.50 m high. variegated foliage of cream, pink and green.

Shrub. Variety less vigorous.

Hypericum x moserianum 'Tricolor'
Large species 'Hidcote' Long flowering from July to October. Height 1.50 m. persistent or semi-evergreen foliage.

Shrub. Silhouette rounded. Most beautiful wort.

Hypericum x inodorum Flowering from July to November. floriferous.

. Height up to 1 m . Foliage dark green deciduous and aromatic 'Elstead': variety in large red fruits along with flowers.

Shrub. A more robust and more floriferous.

Hypericum x inodorum
Androsème officinalis ( Hypericum androsaemum ) Long flowering from June to September. red and black fruit.

About 0.80 m high. Deciduous foliage. 'Albury Purple': variety in foliage tinged with purple.

Aromatic foliage. Shrub.

'Sunburst' ( Hypericum frondosum ) Good flowering from June to September. Large flowers with long stamens.

Height:. 0.80m Beautiful foliage glaucous, deciduous or semi-evergreen.

Shrub. Silhouette rounded and dense.

A little history ...

Its name comes from the Greek Hyperikon which means "under the statues" (Latinized as Hypericum) and Latin perforatum referring to "holes" (which are actually pockets containing an essential oil) many of its leaves.
Ancient Greece was already using Hypericum perforatum as a medicinal herb as well as healing ointments in various skin lesions (wounds, snake bites, ulcerous wounds ...) and oral potions to fight against various manifestations of pain and of mood disorders (anxiety, menstrual syndrome ...).
Hippocrates, as Galen later recommended its use to treat these various diseases.
By extension, these ancient Greeks lent her many other virtues up to use spells to protect and fight against the possession by demons.
This medical tradition continued under the Romans and during the Middle Ages when it was also called "chasing the devil."
It continued for centuries to be used to treat insomnia, depression, urinary incontinence, mood disorders associated with menopause, but also various neuralgia ...
The XX th century, it is a component of drugs such as vetch or alcoholate balsam commander found written in the French codex, to treat local contusions, but also diarrhea and spasmodic episodes.
But it was his work in the treatment of mild depression that developed today, after clinical studies around the 1970s demonstrated its efficacy in this use. In Germany, it is one of the recognized drugs to treat these diseases.
Plantation St. John's Wort

Where and when to plant St. John's wort?

St. John's wort grows well in ordinary well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade. calycinum Hypericum, Hypericum androsaemum and H ypericum 'Hidcote' tolerate shade.
Place it along a wall or beneath a hedge. It is also perfect as a ground cover around a tree or shrubbery.
St. John's wort plant is preferably in the fall from October to December or spring in April-May.
How to plant?

You can seed St. John's wort in spring, then transplant the nursery during the summer before putting it up in the fall. But this method is time consuming.
You will get a faster result by planting feet in buckets bought at a nursery or garden center. Would crash on the edge, as ground cover in a hedge, a slope or in a pot or planter.
For growing in window box, as for planting in the ground, if your soil is poorly drained and retains water, use as a substrate a mixture of soil (or compost) and sand.
According to adult sizes, you espacerez 0.40 to about 1 m.
Culture and maintenance of hypericum

St. John's wort, robust and hardy, requires no special care. , it is easy to clean and fits all culture conditions and all types of soils, provided they are drained.
In the ground, you will not have to water it in the event of prolonged drought. For pots, water them regularly, just to keep the fresh substrate.
Very opaque varieties not need weeding. For others, weeding spring suffice.
You can mulch with fallen leaves evergreen varieties such as St. John's Wort 'Hidcote' to help them through the winter, although they are hardy to -15 ° C.
Finally, you can make a suitable size according to varieties that are perennial herbaceous or shrubby.
Size wort

When to prune?

You prune deciduous species in the spring before the vegetation recovery in March-April.
For perennial species, wait until flowering in autumn.
How to prune?

Fold the shears dwarf species to maintain a good dense ground mats.
Prune with secateurs or shears larger species to get a well balanced and compact port.
Multiplication of Hypericum

You can multiply the wort by division of clumps, cuttings or layering.
You can cuttings St. John's Wort all summer and into early fall.
For layered, you will be operating in autumn, dormancy period for deciduous varieties.
For the division of clumps of herbaceous species, operate preferably in the fall.
Harvest wort

When and how to harvest St. John's wort?

You will reap the flowering tops dry weather and preferably when the flowers are still in bud.
In June and early July St. John's Wort usually produces more flowers and buds that contain a maximum of active ingredients.
Conservation wort

Buttons, after careful drying, can be kept dry and away from light and moisture in a paper bag or cardboard box. But the oral use is not recommended in this form because you can not master the levels of intake.
On the other hand, for external use, it is better to macerate fresh flowers in oil, as is done for the preparation of red oil.
Diseases, pests and parasites

St. John's Wort is very disease resistant. However, in case of high humidity, rust may make its appearance.
To prevent this, avoid overwatering and do not let your plant be invaded by weeds. If despite this rust develops too much you can handle.
Start by cutting and burning the affected leaves, or the plant itself in the case of small plants.
Spray a slurry of Horsetail.
If that fails, apply, dry weather and not in direct sunlight, antifungal treatment permitted in organic farming: solution spray wettable sulfur or Bordeaux mixture, to reapply after some time to prevent the spread of the disease.

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