SAINT JOHNSWORT / Hypericum perforatum

	{ These notes are adopted (and "cribbed")
	from Michael Vertolliís class notes.
	Michael Vertolli is my herb teacher
	and a wonderful source of information
	on diverse aspects of alternative medicine. }

Primary Properties of St. Johnswort:

	Nervine relaxant (mild sedative),
	general vulnerary (wound healer),
	nervine vulnerary,
        styptic (stops bleeding),

Secondary Properties of St. Johnswort: Anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, mild analgesic, mild diuretic, mild emmenagogue. Primary Organ Systems effected by St. Johnswort: Nervous system, epithelial tissues Secondary Organ System effected by St. Johnswort: Circulatory system, immune system, female reproductive system. Primary Uses of St. Johnswort: Nervousness, tension, anxiety, insomnia, depression, neurosis, neuralgias, fibrositis, sciatica, general nerve inflammation and/or damage; tinnitis, externally: wounds (especially with nerve damage), bruises, burns, bleeding. Secondary Uses of St. Johnswort: Hemorrhoids, varicose veins; ulcers and inflammation of the digestive tract; rheumatic pain and inflammation. Cautions: Note: that %10 of people find St. Johnswort sedative rather than simple relaxing. If you find it makes you sleepy simply take it at night before retiring. Note: that St. Johnswort is abundant in Southern Ontario fields and meadows. When cattle eat large quantities of St. Johnswort they may suffer "photosensitivity". St. Johnswort is listed as a noxious weed in Ontario! While there are no reports of photosensitivity in humans a caution about possible photosensitivity must be noted particularly by fair skinned people in the summer months. If you feel you are experiencing photosensitivity, cut back on the dose. Note also: St. Johnswort strongly stimulates the (cytochrome branch) of
our detoxification system. So it is a useful herb for "detox" in itself: however, it will metabolise pharmaceuticals more swiftly and so may interfer with proscription drugs.
Contraindications: Michael says that while he knows of no official contraindications he "would not recommend prolonged use of St. Johnswort during pregnancy." for the use of St. Johnswort in depression click here