Know Your Herbs: St. John’s Wort

St. John’s Wort, also known as hypericum perforatum, is a flowering plant often used in herbal medicine to produce oil or ointments for external use. It can be found growing wild in dry sunny places throughout the world. The red-flowering variety of St. John’s wort has become naturalized in North America, including the Great Plains region. 

Origin

It is believed that St. John’s Wort, a plant native to the Mediterranean area and temperate parts of Asia, has been used for its therapeutic properties since ancient times. 

Health benefits

St. John’s Wort has been used for centuries to treat wounds and other skin ailments but there are many health benefits that have been utilized in modern times. These are a few of the key health benefits that St. John’s Wort:

  • Antidepressant

Scientists began exploring St. John’s Wort for its potential treatment of depression in the 1990’s. Today, St. John’s Wort is most commonly used as an antidepressant for treating people who suffer from depression and bipolar disorder.

  • Calms the nerves

St. John’s Wort has many benefits for the nervous system including helping to alleviate stress and promoting sleep by calming nerves and relaxing muscles. 

  • Heals skin ailments

The antibacterial properties of St. John’s Wort makes it a great treatment for minor skin conditions such as eczema, minor burns, and hemorrhoids. It may relieve symptoms associated with skin irritation if applied topically.

Why we offer it

St. John’s Wort, one of the most popular herbs for depression and anxiety used today, is a healthier alternative than traditional antidepressants. It has been shown that St. John’s wort can positively affect mental health with few side effects compared to prescription medications available in pharmacies today. 

However, it is essential to talk with your physician before you stop taking any prescription medication or start an herbal supplement like St. John’s Wort. This may cause negative interactions in the body, be sure to research which herbs are best for you. 

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