Saint John's Wort
Saint John's wort, which is botanically known as Hypericum perforatum, is a popular herb in herbal medicine. It is known by a number of common names such as hypericum, klamath weed, goat weed, rosin rose, touch-and-hill or simply as St. John's wort. The herb thrives in sunny or partly shaded areas throughout the U.S. And Canada, especially on the gravelly, dried soil next to roads. When fully grown, Saint John's wort could rise to a height of 1-3 feet from a branched and woody root system. It can easily be identified with its round, erect stems that are deep red at the base and have dark red dots around the branches. Its flowers form a furry appearance thanks to their yellow petals with black rims, especially between June and September.
It is not by chance that St. John's wort is now grown in many areas apart from just the United States and Canada. More and more people are appreciating the many medicinal uses to which parts of this herb can be put. Here are some of the medicinal uses of hypericum:
- In the past, this herb has been used like a sedative in the treatment of malaria. Furthermore, it also served as a balm for burns, wounds as well as insect bites.
- If you are suffering from any nervous condition, Saint John's wort could prove to be an amazing herb. This is because it is usually used in the treatment of conditions such as anxiety, depressions and sleep disorders.
- This herb is in fact the most common prescription for depression in countries such as Germany and Ireland. Clinical tests have supported its impact for moderate to mild depression. However, severe depression that is characterized by suicidal thoughts is better handled by a physician.
- Due to its pain relieving and sedative effects, the herb has been used by some people to treat sciatica and rheumatic pain.
Dosage and Administration
With herbal remedies, you should never make the mistake of imitating the dosage taken by a friend or folk. This is because your own dosage will always depend on the nature and seriousness of the condition being treated as well as other physical conditions such as age. Since it is not one of the more regulated herbs, you can always rely on the prescription details provided by a well reputed manufacturer. The best products are those that have been standardized to only contain 0.3% hypercin.
Like any other great herb, Saint John's wort is available for administration in a number of forms. Tablets and capsules are the ones many people find convenient since they do not involve any further preparation. However, you can also ingest teas and oral tinctures of the herb. You could also choose to apply it topically as an oil-based cream.
Before preparing any herbal treatment, it is always important to identify the specific parts that should be used. This is to prevent cases where people have tried to make herbal treatments from poisonous or harmful plant parts. If you need the best results from Saint John's wort, the parts you need to harvest are the flowers and leaves.
- The herb reportedly has several antibacterial and antiviral properties that can be used to cure common infections. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it ideal for healing burns and wounds.
- There is reason to believe that this wort can be used in the treatment of alcoholism.
- Researchers are working on the possibility of this herb to cure HIV, the virus that eventually causes AIDS. The problem however is that it could counteract the medications currently used to lessen side effects.
- The herb also boasts a number of benefits to the female reproductive system. If taken alongside black cohosh, hypericum could assist in dealing with symptoms of menstruation as well as pre-menopause and menopause.
- A mixture of Saint John's wort, rosemary and ginko biloba has been used to some success in treating brain inflammation and the symptoms that come with recovering from the condition.
When taken under strict supervision of a herbalist or physician, this herb is generally safe. However, some mild side effects have been documented, including skin rashes, stomach upsets, restlessness, fatigue, dry mouth, headache, dizziness or even light sensitivity.
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