What Is St. John’s Wort?
Being a plant with yellow & star-shaped flowers, St. John’s wort grows in South and North America, Europe, Australia, Eastern Asia, and New Zealand. This herb grows in the sunny and well-drained regions. It can be 50 to 100 cm in height. It contains a lot of potent compounds including hypericin and hyperforin that offer antibacterial, antiviral, antidepressant, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. If you are looking for the St. John’s wort benefits, uses, and side effects on health, you can look through this article on the HealthyCures.org
What Are The St. John’s Wort Benefits And Uses On Health?
St. John’s wort is widely used for depression and some certain conditions that go along with depression, including tiredness, anxiety, trouble sleeping, and loss of appetite. In addition, it is also used for moodiness heart palpitations, and other signs of menopause, mental disorders. People has also tried St. John’s wort to quit smoking and to treat fibromyalgia, burning sensation in the mouth, chronic fatigue syndrome, migraine, nerve pain, nerve damage in the body, and muscle pain. It is also beneficial for fighting against HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, cancer (including brain cancer), herpes simplex, and weight loss.
1. St. John’s Wort Benefits On Health – Treat Minor Burns
The oil of St. John’s wort helps to stop pain and cure minor burns. Simply, apply this oil to the burn right after getting a burn. Get a clean bowl or basin and then soak the burned area. You may also use a muslin cloth soaked in St. John’s wort oil to keep the burned area for 1 hour. Apply it a few times on the first day with a burn.
2. St. John’s Wort Benefits On Health – Relieve Sciatica Pain
Take St John’s wort oil and then massage the affected areas such as your legs and lower back for 2 or 3 times per day. The anti-inflammatory properties of St John’s wort oil can aid you in relieving inflammation & sciatica pain.
3. St. John’s Wort Benefits On Health – Treat A Hematoma
Mix equal parts of St. John’s wort flowers, arnica tincture, witch hazel bark, and chamomile flowers well. Then, add 5 drops of lavender oil and 2 tbsp. of cold water in this mixture. Next, soak a cloth in this mixture and gently put it on the affected area. Allow it to be on for 13 to 15 minutes before removing it from the skin. Repeat this process 1 or 2 times per day within 3 days.
4. St. John’s Wort Benefits On Health – Works as an Antidepressant
Many studies show that St. John’s wort may help fight mild to moderate depression and anxiety and has fewer side effects than most other prescription antidepressants, such as loss of sex drive. However, it does interact with a number of medications, so it should be taken only under the guidance of a health care provider, especially if you already take medications for depression.
In many studies, St. John’s wort uses seem to work as well as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a popular type of antidepressant that doctors often prescribe first to treat depression, such as Prozac, Celexa and Zoloft. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, researchers aren’t exactly sure how St. John’s wort works; some have suggested that the herb acts similar to a SSRI because it makes more serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine available in the brain. These neurotransmitters help improve your mood and can be responsible for treating symptoms of depression.
In studies using the rat forced swimming test, an animal model of depression, St John’s wort extracts induced a significant reduction of immobility. In other experimental models of depression, including acute and chronic forms of escape deficit induced by stressors, St John’s wort extract was shown to protect rats from the consequences of unavoidable stress.
St. John’s wort uses also include improving mood in people with SAD, a type of depression that occurs during the winter months because of lack of sunlight. SAD is usually treated with light therapy, and there is some evidence that using St. John’s wort together with phototherapy works even better as a way to beat the winter blues.
5. St. John’s Wort Benefits On Health – Reduce Joint Pain
The powerful antioxidant & anti-inflammatory effects of St. John’s wort help to treat severe joint pains, muscle spasms, and gout effectively. In addition, its soothing properties help to deal with the problem from the inside out; as a result, you will feel better within a few days.
Simply massage the aching joints with the oil of St. John’s wort 1 or 2 times per day for 2 weeks to get relief from this problem.
7. St. John’s Wort Benefits On Health – Treat Chickenpox
Boil 1 cup of clean water and then add 1 tbsp. of this herb to it. Reduce the heat and then simmer for 5 minutes. Remove it from the heat and steep it for 10 minutes. Now, strain and consume it. You may also add lemon juice, honey or cinnamon powder to this solution to enhance the taste. Drink this tea for 3 times a day.
8. St. John’s Wort Benefits On Health – Treat Frequent Urination
In fact, this herb also aids in preventing urination in women quickly and effectively. If you suffer from frequent urination, you may take 300 milligrams of this herb 2 to 3 times daily to get the best results.
9. St. John’s Wort Benefits On Health – Ear Infections
St. John’s Wort oil when mixed with garlic, mullein oil, and grapefruit seed can help to treat ear infections.
You will need:
- Half a garlic
- 1 teaspoon of St. John’s Wort oil
- 1 teaspoon of mullein oil
- Grapefruit seed
- An ear dropper
- Firstly, you extract 4 drops of grapefruit seed.
- Then, you add all these above ingredients to it and mix them well.
- You use an ear dropper to apply this to the affected ear.
- You keep it on there for about 15 to 30 minutes.
- You should repeat it for about two times per day to get complete relief from the ear pain and ear infection.
There are many other simple but effective home remedies for ear infection, keep reading the article to learn more!
10. St. John’s Wort Benefits On Health – Lower Blood Pressure
If you are trouble with your blood pressure, taking St. John’s wort capsules may help you. The strong antioxidant & anti-inflammatory effects of this herb help to reduce inflammation in your cardiovascular system, reducing the stress on your heart. This, in turn, aids in lowering blood pressure.
11. St. John’s Wort Benefits On Health – Relieve Tennis Elbow Pain
Add 2 to 3 tsp. of St. John’s wort to a cup of hot water and then cover it. Steep it for 10 minutes and strain it. Add honey to it and drink it daily. You can also apply St. John’s wort oil to the affected area and massage it a few times a day.
12. St. John’s Wort Benefits On Health – Treat Hangovers & Alcoholism
To make a tea with St. John’s Wort, add 1 tbsp. of St. John’s wort flowers or a tea bag to 1 cup of boiling water. Simmer it for 5 minutes and then strain the tea. Add honey to sweeten this tea.
To fight alcoholism, drink a cup of this tea right after breakfast & dinner daily for about one month or more. For relieving the symptoms of hangovers, drink this tea 2 to 3 times per day.
Or you may also take one capsule of St. John’s Wort extract daily.
13. St. John’s Wort Benefits On Health – Treat Varicose Veins
You can combine carrot seed oil, chamomile oil, lavender oil and St. John’s wort tincture in order to treat the varicose veins because it enables to improve your blood flow and relieve varicose veins. It is undeniable that the mixture acts as one of the great home remedies for varicose veins on legs and face. Following is the recipe for making this combination.
- 3 drops of carrot seed oil
- 3 drops of chamomile oil
- 3 drops of lavender oil
- 1 tsp of St. John’s wort tincture
- 1 glass of water
- 1 soft cloth
- First, mix all the ingredients together well
- Then, dip the soft cloth in the mixture
- Next, wring it to drain
- Apply the compress onto the affected area
- Repeat this solution daily
You can utilize some other essential oils instead such as lemon oil, juniper berry oil, cypress oil, orange oil, geranium oil, rosemary oil, and grapefruit oil.
14. St. John’s Wort Benefits On Health – Quit Smoking
St. John’s Wort helps to reduce the symptoms of psychological withdrawal and relieve depressive states and nervous tension related to quitting smoking. Therefore, it is very effective in reducing nicotine cravings.
The brain needs time to make a response to the active ingredients present in St. John’s wort and thereby you should start taking it two to three weeks before quitting smoking.
There are many forms of St. John’s wort herb, but its tincture is likely the most effective form for the good results.
15. St. John’s Wort Benefits On Health – Treat Parkinson’s Disease
One of the reasons for Parkinson’s disease & schizophrenia is a dopamine dysfunction. According to some studies, St. John’s wort can increase the level of the neurotransmitter dopamine. In addition, these studies also show that the antioxidant effects of this herb can aid in treating neural degeneration related to the Parkinson’s disease. Nevertheless, further studies are needed to prove the effectiveness of this herb.
Simply, drink 1 cup of tea from St. John’s wort or one St. John’s wort capsule regularly after meals to inhibit the development of this disease.
16. St. John’s Wort Benefits On Health – Treat Sleep Disorders
Saint John’s wort is like lemon balm, which can be utilized frequently so as to help you with depression and then promote a better sleep. It is known that the main constituent hypericin can work well by reuptake inhibition that can raise the overall level of the serotonin in your brain. Therefore, more serotonin is equal to more melatonin, which brings you better sleep. As a result, Saint John’s wort is one of the natural home remedies for sleep disorders that should be utilized safely at home. It is recommended for you to take it either in capsule form or tea.
- 1 cup of hot water
- 2 tsp of the dried Saint John’s wort (flowers or herb top)
- 1 tsp of lemon or honey to taste (optional)
- Firstly, you put the Saint John’s wort in the hot water and cover it
- Let it steep in 5-10 minutes
- Strain it
- Consume the tea once per day
- You can drink it either 30-45 minutes before you sleep or in the morning
17. St. John’s Wort Benefits On Health – Treat Bruises
Simply, steep 2 tbsp. of the dried St. John’s wort in 1 cup of boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes. Drink this tea 1 time daily.
Or, rub a little St. John’s wort oil on your bruises a few times daily for about 4 or 5 days.
18. St. John’s Wort Benefits On Health – Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
You just need to rub a cream containing the St. John’s wort extract on the affected area. You will get the notable results after a few weeks.
19. St. John’s Wort Benefits On Health – Treat Sinus Congestion & Chronic Cough
Simply, drink 1 cup of tea from St. John’s Wort after breakfast & dinner to alleviate the throat & sinus issues. To make this tea, soak a tea bag in 1 cup of hot water and allow it to steep for 5 minutes.
20. St. John’s Wort Benefits On Health – Treat Insomnia
Like the other home remedies for insomnia, many people use Saint John’s Wort frequently to reduce the depression. The hypericin presenting in it helps lift the level of serotonin in your brain.
“You have more serotonin, you have more melatonin. It means that you have better sleep.”
You can make it into useful tea as a sleep aid.
- Lemon or honey (optional)
- 2 tsp of dried flower Saint John’s Wort
- 8 oz of boiled water
How to make:
- Add this herb in a cup of boiling water. Next, steep for 5-10 minutes and strain it.
- You should drink this tea once daily in the morning or 30-45 minutes before bedtime.
What Are The Side Effects Of St. John’s Wort?
This herb seems to be safe if taken by mouth for 12 weeks. Some evidence shows that it might be used safely for more than one year. It may cause some adverse effects such as vivid dreams, trouble sleeping, restlessness, irritability, dry mouth, stomach upset, dizziness, skin rash, headache, tingling, and diarrhea. Take this herb in the morning or reduce the dose if it causes sleep issues.
This herb interacts with some drugs. Consult your doctor know before taking St. John’s wort. There is not enough information to know whether St. John’s wort is actually safe or not when applied to the skin. It might cause some reactions to sun exposure.
St. John’s wort seems to be unsafe if taken by mouth in a large dose because it might cause some reactions to sun exposure. Remember to wear sunblock, especially when you have a light skin.
Special Precautions And Warnings:
Children: St. John’s wort seems to be safe if taken by mouth for 2 months for 6-17 years-old children.
Pregnancy & breastfeeding: This herb seems to be unsafe if taken by mouth throughout pregnancy. There is evidence that it may cause birth defects in the unborn rats. Nobody yet knows if it has the same a similar effect in the unborn babies. Besides, nursing infants of mothers taking this herb may experience colic, listlessness, and drowsiness. So, avoid using St. John’s wort during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Alzheimer’s disease: In fact, there is also a concern that this herb may contribute to dementia in those with Alzheimer’s disease.
Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder: St. John’s wort may worsen symptoms of this disorder, especially in people who take the medication methylphenidate for this disorder. Therefore, avoid using St. John’s wort when you are taking methylphenidate.
Anesthesia: Using anesthesia in those who have used this herb for 6 months can result in serious heart complications in surgery. Stop using this herb at least 14 days before a surgery.
Bipolar disorder: People who suffer from bipolar disorder cycle regularly between depression & mania, a state shown by impulsive behavior and excessive physical activity. This herb may lead to mania in the individuals as well as speed up this cycling between depression & mania.
Infertility: St. John’s wort may interfere with conceiving a baby. If you try to conceive, avoid using St. John’s wort.
Depression: In people suffering from major depression, this herb may lead to mania, a state shown by impulsive behavior and excessive physical activity.
Surgery: This herb may affect serotonin levels in your brain and in turn, interfere with surgical procedures. Remember to stop using this herb at least 2 weeks before a surgery.
Schizophrenia: This herb may lead to psychosis in some people suffering from schizophrenia.
Where And How To Buy St. John’s Wort?
You can find St. John’s Wort in the form of tablets, dried flowers, capsules, tea bags, tinctures, and extracts at many herbal food stores. When buying its extract, choose one that is actually extracted from St. John’s wort flowers and contains at least 0.3% of hypericin.
Here are a few of St. John’s wort benefits, uses, and side effects on health that you should be aware of. Hope that this article can help you know more this herb as well as its uses. If you know other St. John’s wort benefits on health, please share with us.