St. John’s Wort: The Herb That Cures the Mind

Earlier, when synthesizing medicines chemically was beyond the scope of the then scientists, plant extracts worked well. Even before civilisation started taking its shape, the men and women in the forest would pick up flowers, pestle them, and out of an experience, make use of them as medications. All it took was a little risk, and the benefits have been passed down by word of mouth.

As civilisation progressed, the world saw the rise of thinking, grieving men. Philosophies flourished and eventually the societal bondage made way for stress and depression. But what can ever daunt a man’s curiosity? And so they stumbled upon a solution to this problem as well. The aid to this dreadful situation of the mind was found during the Greek civilisation by the pioneer of medicines, Hippocrates. From his records, the wonders of St. John’s wort were unravelled. It was a flowering plant that bloomed (still does) about June 24th, the day John the Baptist was born. Thus in his memoriam, the plant was named as such.

The maladies of depression, anxiety, loss of hunger, and insomnia were combatable with the extract from St. John’s wort. One could also heal their wounds using its oil, with the only downside of it being that it makes the affected area sensitive to light.

There is a cause behind this. The active ingredients in St. John’s wort lose their efficacy under sunlight. This is why the extract is found in amber-coloured bottles but even then, it does not help much.

Where Is Its Origin?

Native to Europe, St. John’s wort grows both in the US and Canada on the arid grounds beside roads, woods, and meadows. So, it is a weed that has wild, yellow flowers.

As from its Greek origin, the scientific name is named as thus – Hypericum perforatum (Greek for above (Hyper), eikon (picture)).

What Is St. John's Wort Used For?

It finds its use in treating depression, from slight to a fair amount. Indications of nervousness, insomnia, and certain other infections are treatable as well. The particular brand under which the herb is sold will mention added coverage areas other than the ones mentioned above.

Although mostly taken as a capsule or a potion, this herb can also be dried and used as tea. The effects will be just the same. As a standardised extract dose of 300mg, taken thrice a day, should do the trick.

Numerous other researches done till date have revealed the troubles which St. John’s wort can alleviate –

  1. Heart palpitation
  2. Tiredness
  3. Menopause
  4. Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder
  5. Seasonal Affective Disorder
  6. Obsessive-Compulsive order

The effect that the medicine has on the body is that of relaxation. It calms the mind and as obvious, all of the problems mentioned above have their roots in anxiety.

People suffering from smoking-related problems, migraine, pain in the muscles, nerves, too, have found their remedies from St. John’s wort.

Although it is an herbal product, any pregnant, allergic, or a patient already under anti-depressant medications should abstain from taking this product.

The Secret Behind Its Effectiveness

Recently discovered results from researches have figured out two chemicals responsible for St. John’s healing powers. Hypericin and Hyperforin are two compounds, which act on the nervous system, particularly the chemical messengers and regulate the mood swings.

However, one must keep in mind that the medicine is effective against only mild depression. For severe cases, a visit to the psychiatrist is required.

Facts You Should Know About

  • The product is likely to cause dizziness. Hence, it would be wise not to drive or anything that could pose a risk to life. The senses are numbed down once registered. To make matters worse, some people love to take in medicines with their favourite poison, alcohol. Do not be among those kinds of people.
  • Also, do not try to overdose on this medicine. Thinking the more you take it, the better sense of tranquility you will be able to achieve is sheer folly.
  • St. John’s wort hinders with the operation of certain medicines. Before you start taking the same, have your prescribed drugs verified by a doctor to find out if there are any chances like that. Usually, the barbiturates and other tranquilisers such as phenylpropanolamine, phen-en products, L-tryptophan, and pseudoephedrine interfere with St. John’s wort’s functions.
  • It lowers the levels of female hormones in the body – the various subsections of oestrogen. The metabolism of the hormones will be facilitated. Therefore, it could prove harmful to pregnancy.
  • Excess use of this product will cause sensitivity to sun. Hence, take care to protect yourself while you are on this medication.
  • Although St. John’s wort effectiveness has been known for a long time, the Food and Drug Administration could not assure its safe-to-use status. Since it does no good to patients suffering from severe depression, the effectiveness of the extract is in question.
  • Children should never get their hands on St. John’s wort.

The true benefits of St. John’s wort are yet to be known. Researchers are on to its every aspect. The aim is to find out whether this herb does more good than harm because current studies have published a mixed review on that matter.

If you still choose to use it by ingesting Geniux, you should be aware of what you are heading for. Also, know about the interactions of your current medications with St. John’s wort or else the results could be driving you crazy, literally.

No medicine is without side effects, however negligible that may be. It is up to be aware of it.

Most of the countries in the Europe are trying to do away with the circulation of St. John’s wort. The causes are probably because of undisclosed damage that it causes to the body upon overdose or dosage without prescription.

If you have convinced yourself that it is only St. John that can save you, well you would want to look around and then go for the same. Don’t forget to check with the pharmacist.