St.John's Wort St.John's Wort 
One of the best herbs for mood elevation is St. John's wort.
 
St. John's wort is a bushy perennial plant with numerous yellow flowers. St. John's wort native to many parts of the world including Europe and the United States. It is 
 a wild growing plant in northern California, southern Oregon and Colorado.  

St. John's wort has been used as an herbal remedy since the Middle Ages. Many 
believed it to have magical powers to protect one from evil. Early Christian 
mystics named the plant after John the Baptist and is traditionally collected on 
St. John's Day, June 25, soaked in olive oil for days to produce a blood red 
anointing oil known as the "blood of Christ."  

 It has a 2,400-year history of safe and effective usage in many folk and herbal 
remedies. Historically used as a nerve tonic, St. John's wort is now widely used 
as a mild antidepressant. It is a potent antiviral and antibacterial that is being 
investigated as a treatment for AIDS.  

One of the best herbs for mood elevation is St. John's wort. Several controlled 
studies have shown positive results in treating patients with mild to moderate 
depression. Improvement was shown with symptoms of sadness, helplessness, 
hopelessness, anxiety, headache and exhaustion with no reported side effects.  
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St. John's wort action is based on the ability of the active ingredient, hypericin to inhibit the breakdown of neurotransmitters in the brain. The herb also inhibits monoamine 
oxidase (MAO) and works as a serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI); both are 
actions similar to drugs prescribed for depression. In Germany, nearly half of 
depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders are treated with hypericin. St. John's 
 wort should not be taken with any other antidepressants, it is not effective for 
severe depression, and no one should stop taking any prescribed medications 
for depression without proper medical care.  

St. John's wort has been administered in the treatment of many illnesses. The 
most well known action of St. John's wort is in repairing nerve damage and 
reducing pain and inflammation. The herb has been used to relieve menstrual 
cramping, sciatica, and arthritis. It has a favorable action on the secretion of 
bile and thus soothes the digestive system.  

The blossoms have been used in folk medicine to relieve ulcers, gastritis, 
diarrhea and nausea. St. John's wort can also be effective in the treatment of 
incontinence and bed-wetting in children. Externally it is used on cuts as a 
disinfectant and to relieve inflammation and promote healing. The oil can be 
applied to sprains, bruises and varicose veins. Folk medicine has also has used 
it as a treatment for cancer.  
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The active constituents in St. John's wort (there are over 50) include hypericin and 
 pseudohypericin, flavonoids, tannins and procyanidins. The tannins are 
responsible for the astringent effect for wound healing. Hypericin increases 
capillary blood flow and is a MAO inhibitor.  

There are many studies documenting the clinical effects of hypericum as an 
antidepressant treatment similar to several synthetic antidepressants, but with a 
 minimum of side effects. Hypericin has been demonstrated to increase theta 
waves in the brain. Theta waves normally occur during sleep and have been 
associated with deep meditation, serene pleasure and heightened creative 
activity. St. John's wort effectually may improve perception and clarify thinking 
processes.  

There have been incidences of photosensitization as a side effect in animals. 
Anyone who is hypersensitive to sunlight or is taking other photosensitizing 
drugs should be cautious.  

Parts Used: Herb tops and flowers. Used as a tea, extract, oil and in tablet  form.  

Common Use: St. John's wort has been used traditionally as an herbal      treatment for anxiety and depression. It is an effective astringent that promotes 
wound healing and has antiviral properties that can counter herpes simplex, flu 
viruses and is being investigated as a treatment for acquired immunodeficiency 
syndrome (AIDS).  

Note: If you are pregnant or lactating or taking anti-depressants like Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, check with your physician before taking St. John's wort. 
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What is St John's Wort
                           St John's Wort is an herb in use since ancient
                           times as a remedy for anxiety and mild
                           depression. Also known as "Hypericum
                           perforatum," St John's Wort grows on sunlit hills
                           and forest edges and is best harvested when it
                           flowers. St John's Wort blooms from June to
                           August and it's flowering season was considered
                           to be most potent on St John's Day (June 24) -
                           hence it's name! 

                           Why is St John's Wort so popular now
                           St John's Wort has been around for hundreds of
                           years; however Newsweek magazine and the TV
                           show 20/20 have recently featured the herb and
                           its use as an alternative to drugs used for anxiety
                           and depression. It is also a primary ingredient in
                           herbal alternatives to the diet aid Phen Fen , 

because of its traditional use in
                           enhancing mood and encouraging a positive
                           mental state.