St. John’s wort belongs to the family of Guttiferae. It is a perennial plant that lives on bushy and grassy dry fields, at fringe of the forests. The perforated St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) native in Romania is well-known in traditional medicine. Due to its curative effects is also mentioned in several modern dispensatories. St. John’s wort is an herbaceous perennial plant with several stems which are erect, branched in the upper section, hard to pick. The sepals are pointed, with black glandular dots. It has oblong leaves with scattered translucent dots of glandular tissue. The dots are conspicuous when held up to the light. The flowers appear in broad cymes at the ends of the upper branches, between July and August.
It contains ethereal oils (0.1%), flavonglicozide (hiperozide) and photosensitive red pigment (hypericin). These active substances can be found first of all in the flowers and in the leaves.
It is recommended to pick the upper part with flower of the St. John’s wort (20-30 cm of the stem) in sunny weather, and then dry it in the shaddow in an airy space.
In traditional medicine the St. John’s wort (in form of oil) is used for tempering rheumatic pain and medicates cutaneous deseases. It was also used for gout, suppuration and external bleeding.
Herb tea: the tea is often used against depression, stress, sleep disturbance, but also for skin inflammations and hardly healing wounds. It has a beneficial effect on the human organism in case of gastric ulcer, kidney and gall problems, as well as in case of neural gastrointestinal disorders. It is also recommended for internal mouth injuries. It has a beneficial effect on organic problems caused by depression, such as headache, cardiac arrhythmia and gasp, depression caused by exhaustion in situation of hard diseases or after surgeries. Depression before periods or in menopause –appears as petulance, anxiety and sensation of fear- can also be treated with St. John’s wort. But it might have a negative effect on skin, if the hypericin becomes photodynamically activated. Use St. John’s wort carefully!
Medicinal wine: the alcoholic extract of St. John’s wort stimulates liver function.
Crush 30 g dried St. John’s wort flower and macerate it in white wine for 10 days. Use 2-3 spoons 3 times a day against asthma.
Extraction: water extraction of St. John’s wort is used in case of liver- and gall-diseases, as well as for gastric ulcer. Its tea protects the mucous membrane, has an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effect and helps cell regeneration. Thanks to its spasmolytic and slightly keratoplastic effect the St. John’s wort’s oil extraction can be used as overlaying in case of gastric ulcer. Since St. John’s wort decreases appetite, it has a weight loss effect and is often used in weight preserving preparations.
External use: thanks to its keratoplastic, antiseptic and constringent effects it has been used for healing wounds in the last 2000 years. The oil extraction of St. John’s wort is used as unguent for hardly healing wounds, leg ulceration or burns. It is also used in cosmetic products. Since it contains hypericin and other antibiotic compounds it can prevent infection of wounds.
A St. John’s wort treatment has a positive influence on mood swings, depression and improves concentration skills.