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April 26, 2009
St. John’s Wort (Hypericum Perforatum, also known as Goat weed) is one of the most popular medicinal herbs, which has been known since the times of ancient Greece and used to treat various problems with cardiovascular and digestive systems, liver and bladder, as well as to relieve certain mental conditions and nerve pain. The herb received its name after St. John the Baptist as it blossoms in the middle of June, around the time for the feast of St. John the Baptist. In herbal medicine, flowered tops of St. John’s Wort are used for preparing tinctures, teas extracts, capsules, dietary supplements or other medicines.
St. John’s Wort is known, first of all, as an effective antidepressant since it has excellent sedative and calming properties. This herb contains hypericin, a chemical that can block the enzyme monoamine oxidase, a substance released in our body in terms of depression. However, there is no trustworthy scientific evidence of the fact that St. John’s Wort can assist in combating a severe and long-term depression, which always require a serious professional attention. Therefore, this medicinal herb can be used for treating mild or moderate depressions, minor mood disorders and sleep disorders. In order to treat neurosis and other related problems, steep 4-5 teaspoons of the flowers in 500 ml of boiled water and drink 100 ml of this tea 2-3 times a day.
In addition, St. John’s Wort has very good antispasmodic, anti-bacterial and cholagogue properties. Herbal tea with this plant can assist you in relieving spasms of your blood vessels, improving your blood circulation and boosting your appetite. If you suffer from a continuing stomach discomfort, steep 1 teaspoon of St. John’s Wort flowers in 250-300 ml of boiled water for 10 minutes (you can also boil the tea on a very small fire for 5-10 minutes), then strain out the flowers and drink 70-100 ml of the tea before having meals. You can add 2-3 drops of blueberry extract to this tea, this way it will have positive effects on your liver. If the tea is too bitter for your taste, you can add a little bit of honey. By the way, this tea can also have positive rejuvenating effects as it contains great amounts of flavonoids and tannins.
It is essential to remember that using this herb is connected with possible side effects and negative reactions with a great number of prescription medicines or supplements (especially antidepressants and birth control pills), the FDA specialists warn. In particular, pregnant and breastfeeding women are recommended to refrain from using herbal products containing St. John’s Wort. Overdosing can result in nausea, headaches, fatigue and restlessness, allergies, dry mouth and so on. In order to avoid unwanted consequences and receive maximum therapeutic effects, it is always better to consult your therapist or health care specialist before starting any sort of therapy involving this medicinal herb.Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.