St. John’s wort or Hypericum perforatum is a medicinal plant, which belongs to Hipericum genus. There are about 370 species, which belong to genus Hypericum. The plant is native to subtropical and temperate regions of Europe, Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, Middle East, China and India. This perennial herb has yellow flowers. The name of the plant is connected with the St. John’s day, 24 June, when this herb is usually harvested. The word “wort” comes from old English and means “plant”.
St. John’s wort is widely known as an effective treatment for depression. The leaves of the plant are used to make medicine. This herb is also used to produce oil, which can be applied to the skin to treat different skin problems, but the usage of St. John’s wort oil can be risky, as it may cause sunlight sensitivity. Here is the list of other problems, which can be easily solved with the help of St. John’s wort:
- loss of appetite;
- nicotine dependence;
- heart palpitations;
- menopause symptoms;
- obsessive-compulsive disorder;
- attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder;
- seasonal affective disorder;
- nerve pain;
- muscle pain;
- chronic fatigue syndrome;
- irritable bowel syndrome;
- hepatitis C;
Speaking about St. John’s wort side effects it’s worth saying that taking it in medicinal doses for a short period of time is safe. It’s better not to use it topically. Overusing it by mouth may cause skin rash, dizziness, stomach upset, diarrhea, fatigue, anxiety, trouble sleeping, dry mouth. People with light skin are not recommended to use it in large doses as it makes skin more sensitive to sunlight. Don’t use it during surgery. Pregnant and breast-feeding woman are not recommended to use this herb.