ST JOHN'S WORT
(Hypericum perforatum)
extracted by tincture in food grade alcohol

Anti-inflamatory/ Antispasmodic / Anti-viral / Anxiolytic / Vulnerary


Plant Description: St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) has a five petal yellow flower with leaves that reveal the transparent oil glands containing the chemical photo sensitizer known as hypericin, which can be seen in the outlined cellular structure when held up to the sunlight. The plant, though indigenous to Europe, came to North America with the early colonists. The common name comes from its traditional flowering and harvesting on St. John’s day, June 24th (Europe).

Historical Notation: St. John’s Wort was commonly referred to as "Fuga Demonum" (the devil's scourge) since it was used to protect against demonic possession and "evil spirits". One of the earliest references to the name St. John's Wort is noted in a Gaelic legend from the sixth century where the missionary St. Columba carried a piece of St. John's Wort because of his high regard for St. John. It is believed that the name may have been derived from the fact that the flowers bloom around June 24th, the birthday of St. John the Baptist. St. John's wort has been known for its numerous medicinal properties as far back as Roman times. It was a valued remedy on the Roman battlefields where it was used to promote healing from trauma and inflammation.

Constituents - Chemicals & Nutrients: (Whole Plant) ascorbic acid, benzacatechin, carotenoids, ceryl-alcohol, chlorophyllm choline, emodinathranol, epicatechin, gurjunene, hyperforin, hypericins, hypericodihydroanthrone, herperin, hyperoside, imanin, isohypericin, isoquercitrin, isovaleric-acid-ester, lead, limonene, mannitol, myristic-acid, novoimanin, palmitic-acid, pectin, phenol, phlobaphene, phyloroglucinol, phytosterols, prothohypericin, protopseudohypericin, provitamin-a, pseudohypericin, pseudohypericodihydroanthrone, pyrogallol, quercetin, quercitrin, resorcynol, rutin, sitosterol, stearic-acid, tannins, violaxanthin; (Essential Oil) cadinene, caryophylene, cineole, methyl-2-octane, myrcene, n-nonane, n-octanol, pinene; (Leaf) cadmium; (Seed) carotene, fat, saponin, protein; (Flower) flavonoids, lutein, luteoxanthin, trollichrome.

Common Usage: Ingested to relieve inflammatory pain, anxiety and mild depression (especially in men), and to speed wound healing when used as a topical application. Used also to improve capillary circulation, increases cardiac circulation, and ease gastrointestinal distress.

Dosage:

Anti-inflammatory - ½ to 1 tsp. twice daily for three days. Longer term use for inflammation caused by sports injuries may be necessary but not recommended into summer months when UV levels are high. Hypericum is safer than aspirin for the stomach lining and is not reported to cause internal bleeding.

Anti-depressant - ½ to 1 tsp. twice daily for 3 weeks

Warnings:
As with many anti-inflammatory pharmaceuticals, St. John’s Wort taken internally will cause photo-sensitivity and photo-dermatitis in people with fair or sensitive skin. Sunlight activates the hypercin in St. John's Wort which can cause skin blistering and peeling if you are exposed to direct sunlight for a prolonged amount of time while taking this plant tincture. References to the plant as "toxic" are based on the reports that livestock, when overgrazing where St. John’s Wort is abundant, eventually suffer from edema of the eyes, ears, and face as a result. Individuals taking any prescribed anti-depressant medication should not take St. John’s Wort. Pregnant or lactating women should not use this plant.

Drug Interactions:
St. John's Wort may lower blood levels of indinavir (used to treat HIV infection), cyclosporine (used to prevent organ transplant rejection), digoxin (a heart medication) and theophylline (an asthma medication).

References:
[1] Free Medical Dictionary on-line http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/St.+John%27s+wort
[2] Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, "Anti-Inflammatory Actions of St. John's Wort: Inhibition of Human Inducible Nitric-Oxide Synthase Expression by Down-Regulating Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription-1α (STAT-1α) Activation" Elisa Tedeschi, Marta Menegazzi, Daniela Margotto, Hisanori Suzuki, Ulrich Förstermann and Hartmut Kleinert



Note: This information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare provider. It should not be construed to indicate that the use of this extract is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare provider before taking this tincture.