St. John’s Wort

We recommend:

Nature’s Sunshine St John’s Wort

(hypericum perforatum)

St Johns Wort is native to Europe and America. It normally flowers around St Johns day, June 24th, which gives it its’ name. The flowers leaves and stems are used in herbal medicine.

In ancient Greece, St. John’s wort was used to treat many ailments, including sciatica and poisonous reptile bites. In Europe, St. John’s wort was used by herbalists for the topical treatment of wounds and burns. It is also a folk remedy for kidney and lung ailments as well as for depression.

What it does

St Johns Wort contains several compounds including hypericin, hyperforin, flavonoids and volatile oils. It is thought that St Johns Wort has the ability to inhibit the re-uptake of serotonin, dopamine and noradrenalin, which accounts for its’ anti-depressant effects. Hypericin has been shown to exhibit strong antiviral activity (e.g. herpes simplex 1 and 2, mononucleosis and influenza) as well as the ability to kill several different types of pathogenic bacteria.

Potential Uses

Depression Anxiety Nervous tension
Bacterial infections Insomnia Viral infections
Cold sores Menopause Eczema (topically)

Other information

This herb is effective in anxiety and nervous excitement and may also improve sleep patterns, especially in depressed people.

St Johns Wort is also used by herbalists to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder.

St Johns Wort is commonly used in preference to conventional anti-depressant drug by doctors in Germany.


May cause increased sensitivity to ultraviolet light, especially with regular use of high doses.

If you already take antidepressant, asthma, anticonvulsant, anti-coagulant, immune suppressing medication, check with your doctor before taking St Johns Wort.

Do not take St Johns Wort if you are taking the contraceptive pill.

It is often recommended to avoid taking this herb with tyramine containing foods such as cheese, beer, wine and yeast.


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