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St. John’s Wort

 

I- Nomenclature

Latin name: Hypericum perforatumMillepertuis

Family : Hypericaceae

Common namesSt John’s wort

Etymology

It gets its name from the fact that it often blooms on the birthday of the biblical John the Baptist.

From the Greek “hyper”: above; “Eikon”: image from the Latin “perforatum”: perforated: the leaves of St. John's Wort are perforated with small secretory pockets.

 

II- Legends and traditions

St John's Wort is credited with protective powers against wizards and demons, so in many countries a new branch was hung every year on St. John's Day at the door of houses. In the Middle Ages, scholars called it “fuga daemonum”, the devil hunting grass. They attributed to him the supernatural power to drive out evil spirits.

 

III- Botanical description

Description: Perennial herbaceous plant of about 50 cm with angular and rigid stems covered with protruding lines on each side of the stems. 

The leaves are small oval riddled with oleaginous pockets containing red pigment, opposite and sessile. 

The flowers are golden yellow with 5 petals arranged in terminal corymbs. 

The fruits are capsules containing many seeds.

HabitatSt. John's Wort grows in limestone and sunny places in the woods, on the edge of paths and uncultivated land.

Harvest:beginning of flowering

Pars used : flowering tops

 

IV- Active ingredients

Flowering tops

Sesquiterpenes + terpenes essential oils

Flavonoids: hypericin + hyperforin 

Tannins

 

V- Therapeutic uses

Properties

Flowering tops

analgesic  

Hypo-allergenic  antidepressant 

anti-inflammatory antiseptic 

anxiolytic

astringent 

calming 

healing

vulnerary

 

Indications

Chases away anxiety, temporary depression and nervousness. Vulnerable in case of wounds, burns, sunburns, cuts, wounds. Calms neuralgia, sciatica, joint pain, rheumatism and muscle contractures.

Dosage

Oil: macerate for 7 days, 500 g of flowers in a liter of olive oil and ½ liter of white wine. Put in a bain-marie and boil until the wine evaporates. Once cooled, express, filter and store in tightly stoppered bottles.

Tincture: macerate in the sun for 6 days two handfuls of flowers in 1 / 2l of brandy in a corked glass bottle. Filter with expression and renew twice with new flowers. Store in a corked bottle. Swallow 2 teaspoons in case of pain; apply directly to the wound with a compress.

Herbal tea: infuse 1 tsp for 5 minutes. to c. of flowering tops for a cup of hot water. Drink one cup a day between meals.

Wine: let macerate 40 g of plants in 1 liter of good wine for 10 days. Filter and drink 2 shot glasses before meals.

 

VI- Precaution of use

Contraindication

Pregnant women nursing women young children

Interactions

Synthetic drugs: anti-coagulant, anxiolytics, anti-cholesterol, anti-depressants, anti-epileptics, replacement hormones, methadone, sleeping pill. Seek the advice of your doctor.


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