Hypericum perforatum (Hyperaceae)
ST JOHN'S WORT
The tops and flowers are a herbal
remedy for anxiety dating back to ancient Greece. The herb is also applied
to wounds and boils, and used in Chinese medicine and by homeopaths.
This herb has legendary magical properties dating back at least as far as the ancient Greeks,
which included driving out evil spirits. The common name comes from the
fact that its yellow petals turn red when crushed and that it flowers around 24th June,
the date St John the Baptist was beheaded. A native of Europe and Asia but
widely naturalized, it is a perennial with woody stems,
tiny oblong leaves that have transparent oil glands, and clusters of five-petalled yellow flowers in early summer.
Dried tops, including flowers.
Essential oil containing caryophyllene, pinene, limonene, and myrcene; hypericins; flavonoids; resin.
Sedative; astringent; relieves anxiety; antidepressant; anti-inflammatory; antiseptic.
Used internally to treat excitability and mild anxiety, particularly when associated with depression,
and externally for wounds, burns and infections. Used in homeopathy (Hypericum) for nerve injury and bed sores.
Prescribed in Chinese medicine for acute hepatitis, appendicitis, snakebites, boils, and abscesses.
Infusion, red oil made from flowers, tincture, cream, homeopathic remedies.