A Brief History:
From ancient Greek times through the Middle Ages, many believed that St. John’s wort had an almost magical ability to improve mood.
Given the long history of the use of this plant and based on some preliminary research, in 1984 the German Commission E (a council of experts at the Federal Institute for Medicines and Medical Devices of Germany – a body similar to the US Food and Drug Administration) issued pharmacopoeial articles, officially allowing the use of St. John’s wort to improve mood.
The German Commission E has recognized St. John’s wort as safe and effective. If St. John’s wort was prescribed by a doctor, it was covered by insurance. Thanks to this, a number of companies have received considerable profit from the sale of St. John’s wort and invested it in clinical research. The results of these studies led to an even greater degree of acceptance among German physicians, and it soon became the most commonly prescribed mood remedy in Germany.
What is St. John’s wort?:
St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) extract is one of the most studied herbal nutritional supplements in the world. Based on more than 40 double-blind studies involving over 7,000 people, we know a lot about its beneficial properties and ability to improve mood.
The quality of research conducted over the past 40 years is considered acceptable even by the most stringent criteria. St. John’s wort is a shrubby perennial plant with many bright yellow flowers. In English, it is called “St. John’s wort.
“Wort” in Old English means “plant”, and the mention of St. John (St. John) is associated with the legend that red spots (symbolizing the saint’s blood) appeared on the leaves of the plant on the anniversary of the saint’s execution. St. John’s wort has historically grown in Europe, Asia, and the Americas, and is now grown all over the world.
Hypericum Perforatum, St. John’s wort, Goatweed, Klamath Weed, Tipton’s Weed, Rosin Rose
It grows almost everywhere, with the exception of the northern and north-eastern regions. Prefers dry and illuminated meadows, hills, sparse shrubs, clearings and forest edges, and sparse pine, birch, and oak groves.
It occurs as a weed near roads and on the outskirts of fields. St. John’s wort can be successfully bred in gardens.
It is a perennial herbaceous plant of the St. John’s wort family with a height of 30-100 cm. The stems are smooth, and round, with two lateral ribs, branched at the top. The rhizome is thin and strongly branched.
The leaves are opposite, oblong-ovate, whole-edged, and smooth, with numerous translucent light and black glands. On examination, they appear punctured. Blooms from June to August. The flowers are numerous, collected in a broad-lobed, almost thyroid inflorescence.
The petals are bright yellow and oblong-elliptical. The fruit is a three-nest box. The seeds are small, oblong, and brown. In medicine, the aboveground part of St. John’s wort is used.
The grass is harvested during flowering before the appearance of immature fruits, cutting off the tops of plants 25-30 cm long with a knife, without rough bases of stems. The herb has a balsamic smell and a bitter taste.
They are dried in bundles or laid out on a clean litter in the attic, in sheds and other ventilated places, closed from the sun, in a dryer at a temperature of 50-60 ° C. Stored in bags, glass or wooden containers for 2 years.
The aboveground part contains flavonoids, essential oil, tannins, resinous substances, hyperecin, ascorbic acid and nicotinic acid, vitamins, carotene, saponins, a small amount of choline and other substances that have a bactericidal effect.
Preparations of St. John’s wort relax the smooth muscles of the bile ducts, blood vessels of the intestine and ureters, which facilitates the secretion of bile and reduces its stagnation in the gallbladder; contributes to the removal of spasm of the colon and small intestine; promote urination and increase the filtration of urine in the kidneys; strengthen the walls of capillaries; improve venous circulation and blood supply to some internal organs.
Besides, St. John’s wort has an antimicrobial effect due to tannins, enhances gastric secretion, regulates metabolic processes in the body and increases skin sensitivity to ultraviolet rays.
They are taken orally for rheumatism, peptic ulcer, diarrhea, gastroenteritis, colitis, diseases of the urinary, gallbladder and liver, hemorrhoids, gout, tuberculosis, catarrh of the upper respiratory tract, uterine bleeding, headaches, gynecological practice, externally for the treatment of wounds, ulcers, cracks, for rinsing with stomatitis, gingivitis, bad breath.
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