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St. John's Wort
St. John’s Wort, also known as Hypericum perforatum, Tipton’s Weed and Klamoth Weed, is a yellow flowering, meadowland herb that has been used for its therapeutic benefits for centuries. The main use of St. John’s Wort extract has been in the conditions related to depression, anxiety, sleep issues and other nervous disorders. The flowers of St. John’s Wort herb are used as a natural herbal remedy for a number of health concerns. St. John’s Wort supplements are very popular in Germany and are increasing in demand in the US as well. Scientists believe that the chemicals hypericin and hyperforin present in this herb account for the medicinal benefits of St. John’s Wort.
How Does St. John’s Wort Work?
St. John’s Wort has gained popularity as an antidepressant. Its antidepressant property is mainly because of the presence of hypericin, pseudohypericin and hyperforin. These chemicals balance the action of neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin, are certain chemicals present in the brain that carry signals from the nerve cells to the other cells of the body. Generally, the cells that release them reabsorb and inactivate them. The chemicals present in St. John’s Wort increase the availability time of anti depressant neurotransmitters for the body cells to utilise. This happens because these chemicals delay or decrease the reabsorption of neurotransmitters by the nerve cells. Studies have shown the use of this herb in reducing the effects of mild to moderate depression.
Health Benefits of St. John’s Wort
Good as an antidepressant. Research has suggested that the chemicals in St. John’s Wort increase the amount of neurotransmitters in the brain, which are greatly responsible for handling brain cells between cells and proper functioning of the nervous system. Hypericin present in this herb may suppress the activity of monoamine oxidase in the body, which is linked with depression, anxiety and mood swings. This way, it helps in relieving mild to moderate depression. It promotes a sense of well-being and reduces fatigue.
Treatment for hangover and alcoholism. Scientists have come to know about the benefits of this herb in treating hangover and alcoholism. A tea prepared using the flowers of St. John’s Wort may prove to be helpful in getting over your hangover and reducing alcohol habit. This tea can be made by boiling a spoonful of the flowers or a teabag in water and adding honey for sweetness. To treat alcoholism, drinking this tea should be made a regular habit, whereas for a hangover, this tea should be 2 to 3 times throughout the day to get relieved. There are various St. John’s Wort supplements available in the market that can be consumed in order to get away from drinking habit.
Sinus problems and coughing. Possessing antibacterial and viral properties, it is beneficial in sinus issues, flu, chronic coughing and congestion. St. John’s Wort tea or other supplements containing the extracts of this herb can be consumed to get relieved from such health problems.
The use of St. John’s Wort is growing with the increasing awareness about the benefits of herbal remedies for different health concerns. This herb is commercially available at many heath supplements stores in several consumable forms, like St. John’s Wort powder, tablets, teabags, etc. These supplements should be carefully purchased only after checking the content of hyperpericin, which should be 0.3% at least. Also, like any other supplement, one should consult a physician before consuming these supplements.