The Hypericum is native to the temperate zones of Asia and Europe and has been used as a healing and good for everything since antiquity.
- Name: Hypericum (also known as ‘St. John’s Wort’ or ‘St. John’s Wort’)
- Scientific name: Hypericum perforatum
- Part used: Aerial parts and inflorescences
- Main components: Hypericin, pseudohypericin, flavonoids (inc routine), volatile oils, tannins and resins
- Actions: Astringent, analgesic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, sedative, nervous system tonic restorative
Description of the hypericum
The Hypericum is a perennial, erect and compact plant that usually reaches about one meter in length. Its tiny leaves, if they are observed to the light, are covered with hollow dots -in fact, bags of oil- that give meaning to their botanical name. Their bright yellow inflorescences and with black dots should be collected in summer when the starry flowers are open.
It has found uses to treat hysteria and mental illness, and is currently prescribed in certain countries in Europe for depression. The quality of the preparations that are marketed may vary.
How to use the hypericum
For infusion, take a standard infusion cup of the aerial parts three times a day to cure anxiety disorders, nervous tension, irritability, emotional disorders related to menopause or premenstrual syndrome. In tincture take 2-5 ml (40 drops or 1 teaspoon) three times a day for nervous tension that causes exhaustion or depression. 5-10 drops of tincture at night can help children to stop wetting the bed.
If used for rinses, take 1 cup of standard infusion to clean wounds, rashes, and bruises. It also exists in the form of macerated oil, which is applied 2 to 3 times daily for minor or solar burns, cuts, and scrapes. Gently massage the swollen joints and tendonitis with oil, as well as muscle pulls. To improve its effectiveness, combine 5 ml of hypericum essential oil with 10 drops of lavender or achillea essential oil.
How to grow it
Hypericum grows in wild conditions, often in hedges, in many corners of the world. It prefers a sunny and well-drained position in alkaline soil. The seeds are planted in a tray in autumn or spring and transplanted when their size allows them to be manipulated. You have to let them take root and strengthen before placing them in their final positions.
The whole plant is harvested just before flowering, or only the inflorescences during the summer. We must be careful when identifying the plant because there are certain species related to the St. John’s wort with which it is easy to confuse it.
Warning: St John’s wort should be avoided in pregnancy and before exposure to the sun. As a side effect, it can cause gastrointestinal problems and allergic reactions and interacts with many medications including the contraceptive pill.