St John's Wort (technically Hypericum perforatum L.) first became famous as a treatment for aiding sleep. However, St John's Wort is among the most-investigated and researched supplements and many more uses have appeared. In fact, it has been studied for multiple decades in Europe.
St John's Wort is a phytochemical which refers to compounds found only in plants that are antioxidants and possess various other chemicals considered beneficial to human health. So when your Mom told you to "eat your vegetables" (like me! :-) she knew what she was talking about, even if she didn't know about phytochemicals.
St John's Wort Benefits
Yes, St John's Wort pills or St John's Wort extract can often make us sleep but that's because it's an incredible antidepressant. Researchers have learned that St John's Wort contains a unique combination of phytochemicals, especially "hypericin", that react in a very favorable way with the chemicals in our brain to relieve emotional discomfort, lift depression, and calm the nerves. In fact, they work like the common synthetic prescription antidepressants Maprotiline Hydrochloride and Imipramine. But St John's Wort has a HUGE advantage over these synthetic (meaning chemicals that's aren't natural to the human body): minimal or no side effects, depending on the individual body. Obviously, this is extremely important.
Perhaps you've seen movies when the doctor places leeches on a wound? I always shuddered when I thought of insects eating away my flesh. However, the leeches ate the sick and diseased flesh and left healthy areas alone. (At least, that's what the books say – I'm just glad I missed that age of medicine.)
So, a second powerful benefit of St John's Wort is that it heals wounds, including those that are infected and dangerous – referred to as 'dirty' wounds. Wounds that are really dangerous, such as those that are turning into gangrene, rely on St John's Wort above all else. Even traditional doctors and hospitals use this compound because, like the leeches, it doesn't harm healthy tissues but it cleans dirt and infection from ailing areas.
Further, St John's Wort fights and destroys inflammation in sores, injuries and anywhere else needed.
The active ingredient in St John's Wort, hypericin, increases blood flow to stressed tissue.
A Benefit Summary:
Improves circulation to the capillaries: a capillary is an extremely small blood vessel located within the tissues of the body, that transports blood from arteries to veins and are most abundant in tissues and organs that are metabolically active
Relieves gastrointestinal distress like indigestion and acid reflux
Increases circulation to the heart
Fights retroviruses: lead to certain types of cancers and is the virus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
Eases discomfort from PMS Aids mild to moderate depression and anxiety
Promotes restful sleep and relieves insomnia
Are There Any Side Effects From Using St John's Wort?
St. Johns Wort has has sometimes caused photosensitivity, or an increased sensitivity to sunlight. Anyone using St. Johns Wort should stay out of strong sunlight, regardless of whether your skin is dark or light.
St John's Wort is so effective in fighting depression that it's now competing for status as a standard antidepressant therapy. It is one of the plants with a huge database of investigation and study.
Because of this, great effort has been devoted to identifying the active antidepressant compounds in the extract. From a phytochemical point of view, St John's wort is one of the best-investigated medicinal plants. If used wisely, it might give you more control over your own health, as well as reducing your use of drugs as well as requiring fewer tests and operations. Study this valuable plant carefully before making your decision.