St John's Wort powder (Hypericum perforatum)
Daily adult dose unless otherwise prescribed: 1/4 to 1/2 a level teaspoon twice a day, stirred in a little water and swallowed.
St John's Wort may interact with various pharmaceutical products, including anti-depressants and oral contraceptives. If you are on medication it is best to avoid St John's Wort until you have more information. For further details see here or ask a herbalist, pharmacist or GP.
This caution is not because St. John's Wort is toxic or dangerous it itself; it helps the liver work more efficiently which can clear some of your medication from your body prematurely which can render it inneffective, change the dose or have severe health consequences.
Excessive doses: be aware that St. john's Wort can increase your sensitivity to sunlight; you may burn more easily or your eyes may be more sensitive to light. Other signs that you need to reduce your dose include tingling or sensitivity in your hands and feet. If this occurs simply reduce your dose.
Part used: Flowering tops
Habitat: St John's wort is often confused with other plants including Rose of Sharon, but St. John's Wort's small sunny yellow flowers and opposite oval leaves are dotted with dark oil glands when you hold them to the light which is an easy identification technique. It grows in sunny positions at the margins of hedges, waterways and on scrubby wasteland in many temperate to mediterranean climates globally reaching 1m tall with semi-woody stems.
Folklore and History: The name comes from the observation that the flowers open around St. John's Day, 24th June. Stems of the plant would be hung over doorways at St John's Feast as lucky and healthy talismans.
Constituents: Naphthodianthrones including hypericin and pseudohypericin, phloroglucinols including hyperforin and adhyperforin, flavonoids including hyperoside, rutin, isoquercitrin, quercetin and bioflavonoids, volatile oils, catechin tannins and procyanidins, lower levels of coumatins, alkanes, caffeic and chlorogenic acids and other phenolic compounds.
Actions: antidepressant, anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, antibacterial, antiviral, sedative, supports certain detoxification pathways
Disclaimer: The information on this website is provided for educational use only, and is not intended as a replacement for the services of a qualified medical herbalist, doctor or licensed health practitioner. The information contained herein is not diagnostic, always consult a medical health professional before embarking on a treatment programme. Urban Fringe Dispensary disclaims any liability, loss, injury or damage incurred as a consequence of the use and application of the advice given herein.
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