A flowering plant of the Hypericaceae family is named as St. John’s wort as they bloomed for the first time around the time of St. John the Baptists’ birthday. In old English, wort means plant and these bright yellow coloured herbs are found to have medicinal properties. Apart from being used for treating depression they also have anti-bacterial properties and acts as an antiviral agent.
Apart from being known as St. John’s wort it is also known as Klamath weed, Tipton’s Weed, Goatweed and other. Nowadays it is available in tablets, teas, capsules and even as tropical treatment. It contains hypericin, an active chemical. It is believed that this ingredient makes this herb so efficient. Apart from that, it has hyperforin and flavonoids that too are considered good.
Uses of St. John ’s wort
Different research suggests that St. John’s wort is being used in folk medicine for 100 years now. It was mainly used for healing wounds. Gradually, different research has brought forward other benefits that can be derived by using this medicinal herb. Nowadays the most prominent use of this herb is for treating depression. Although in the USA it is not approved for treating depression and as any over the counter drug.
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There are certainly other uses of this herb too. They are
- As mentioned it is useful in treating mild to moderate depression.
- Atopic dermatitis is also treated with the hypericum cream and it responds are quite positive.
- There are animal trials done where the antiviral properties of this herb found useful. However, this is not yet true for humans.
The side effect of St. John’s wort
While the use of St. John’s wort is quite common but still if someone is under medication then it is better to take advice from their physician and then start using any medicine. There is a different side effect of using this herb. They are
- dry mouth
- light sensitivity
- sexual dysfunction
- stomach upset
- tiredness or fatigue
- skin reactions
Often physician suggests that in order to get the benefits of this herb you must continue it for at least three weeks. However, if any problem arises then do not stop taking it suddenly. It may raise a problem. It is best to stop it and seek your physician for a better opinion.