One of the most effective in the therapeutic practice of plants – St. John’s pitted, or ordinary. This healing herb grows to 30-70 cm, blooms in June-August with small yellow flowers. The most favorable habitats are light forest glades and dry meadows. For medicinal purposes, the leafy tops of the plant with inflorescences are used. Collect them best from the very beginning of flowering, because during this period the content of useful substances is maximized.
In nature, there are several species of herbs, called St John’s wort. There are shrubs with this name, and even small trees. In folk medicine, St. John’s wort uses an ordinary (pierced) and St. John’s wort tetrahedral. They differ as externally, and curative properties is insignificant.
In the Middle Ages there was a belief that the St. John’s wort can protect from evil spirits, ghosts and witches. He was put to the child in a crib or hung up to the cradle. It was believed that so the baby will have good dreams, and the evil spirit will not scare him.
On the fresh grass of St. John’s wort, girls would guess at love: the stems were wrung in hands, if the juice was red, that feeling was mutual, if colorless, then the chosen one was indifferent.
St. John’s wort took travelers along with him, it was believed that he would protect against the attack of wild beasts and robbers.
There are many legends about the origin of St. John’s wort. Thus, in Christian nations his appearance is associated with the death of John the Baptist. When he had his head chopped off, the St. John’s wort grew up in place of the drops of blood that had fallen to the ground. Therefore, according to the Slavic tradition, this plant is called “Ivanova’s blood”.
Composition and useful properties of St. John’s wort
In St. John’s wort there are many useful substances, due to which it has healing properties. The plant contains flavone compounds (rutin, quercetin, etc.), ascorbic and nicotinic acids, saponins, sugars, carotene, tocopherol, hypericin, cetyl alcohol, choline, hyperoside, phytoncides, essential oil, tannic, tarry and bitter substances. Healing components allow the medicinal plant to be widely used. It is used as an antibacterial, antiseptic, analgesic, wound healing, antirheumatic, diuretic, choleretic, astringent, anthelmintic, and also as a regenerating drug.
Since ancient times, infusions of St. John’s Wort have been used, prepared on the water, for the treatment of heart diseases, rheumatism, colds, flu, headaches, liver, stomach, bladder, urinary incontinence, hemorrhoids, inflammation of the female genital organs.
And only recently, medical scientists have discovered another useful property of St. John’s wort. As shown by clinical studies, the plant has a positive effect on the nervous system and has an antidepressant effect. This makes St. John’s Wort more valuable, since it has almost no contraindications and does not cause side effects, in contrast to sedatives of chemical origin.
- Consider the composition of St. John’s wort more:
- Tocopherol is vitamin E, which is necessary to protect the body from the destructive effect of free radicals;
- Carotene is a precursor of vitamin A. It is necessary for the proper operation of the eyes, for the renewal of skin cells, for fighting against viruses and bacteria;
- Tannins help to cleanse wounds from infection, relieve inflammation, accelerate healing;
- Nicotinic acid is necessary for the proper functioning of the heart and the nervous system;
- Vitamin C increase immunity, promote the restoration and renewal of cartilage, ligaments, support the turgor of the skin, prevent the degeneration of normal cells into cancer cells;
- Hypericin and hyperforin are special substances that have an antidepressant effect;
- Hyperoside and rutin strengthen the walls of blood vessels;
- Phytoncides are plant “antibiotics”, which have a powerful antimicrobial effect.
St. John’s wSuch a combination of biologically active substances in the medicinal plant makes it possible to use it in the treatment of many diseases.
St. John’s wort in cosmetology
This healing herb has established itself in the beauty industry. It has anti-inflammatory, tonic, anti-aging and anti-seborrhoeic effect.
St. John’s wort is successfully used when:
- Acne rash;
- Increased fat content of the skin;
- Wilting and wrinkles;
- Alopecia and dandruff ;;
- Pustular skin diseases;
- Fissured heels.
With abundant acne on the skin of the face, daily evening washings are recommended with infusion of St. John’s wort. To do this, take 1 tablespoon chopped dried grass, pour 1 cup boiling water and leave for 20 minutes. It is necessary to wash with infusion every evening before going to bed, do not wash the towel, do not rinse, allow to dry on the skin.
Increased fat content of the skin
If the skin quickly appears greasy sheen, you will help a strong broth of St. John’s wort. Two tablespoons of dried grass should be poured with one glass of boiling water, put on a slow fire and cook for 10 minutes. After cooling, strain and wipe the face with a cotton pad, allow to dry, rinse with cool water.
You can make a mask from the stunted herb of St. John’s wort. To do this, two tablespoons of raw material is poured with four tablespoons of boiling water, stir, let it brew. The resulting gruel impose a cleanly washed face, avoiding the area around the eyes. Keep the mask for 10-15 minutes. Wash off with cool water. Do not more than twice a week.
Cracks in the heels
To facilitate the condition, the foot baths are shown. To do this, you need to prepare 2 liters of broth at the rate of 4 tablespoons of ground grass for 0.5 liters of boiling water, cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Pour into a small basin, cool to a temperature of 45 degrees (hot, but tolerant), lower your legs and keep until the broth cools.
Application of St. John’s wort in medicine
The active substances, which are rich in St. John’s wort, made it “grass from 99 ailments”.
In the official medical practice use both dried raw materials – the herb of St. John’s wort, and the medicines made on its basis.
The plant is used for the following conditions:
Inflammatory diseases of the oral cavity (inflammation of the gums, sore throat, pharyngitis, stomatitis);
Diseases of the biliary tract and digestive tract (dyskinesia, gallbladder hypotension, hepatitis, cholecystitis, bloating, decreased gastric acidity, diarrhea);
Depressive conditions, insomnia, increased anxiety.
The effectiveness of this medicinal herb in inflammatory diseases of the oral cavity is caused by the maintenance of a large number of tannins, phytoncides and beta-carotene.
Based on the extract of St. John’s wort, Novoymanin was made. It is indicated for purulent skin diseases – abscesses, phlegmon, infected wounds, burns, inflammation of the pharynx, sinusitis. Its effectiveness is so high that it can suppress the growth of even Staphylococcus aureus, which is resistant to penicillin preparations.
The cholagogue effect and the ability to normalize intestinal peristalsis in flatulence and diarrhea are related to the maintenance of essential oil in the plant.
Well-known ability of St. John’s wort to eliminate the manifestations of depression. Numerous studies have shown that in patients with mild depressive conditions, the effectiveness of preparations based on St. John’s wort is even higher than that of classical antidepressant agents. In addition, the herbal preparation does not cause drowsiness, inhibition, does not affect the ability to drive, does not reduce the reaction rate. Antidepressants based on St. John’s wort improve mood, remove anxiety, cause a surge of vitality. Official medicines based on St. John’s wort to combat depression, anxiety, irritability and anxiety: the German preparation Gelarium Hypericum and the Russian herbal remedy Negrustin, which are sold without a prescription.
Contraindications and side effects of St. John’s wort
St. John’s wort belongs to the weakly toxic plants. If this herb is used for a long time, there may be unpleasant sensations in the liver, sometimes bitterness in the mouth.
The main side effects and contraindications are:
- Photosensitivity is the increased sensitivity of the skin to ultraviolet radiation. Therefore, those who receive St. John’s Wort treatment should not be exposed to direct sunlight for a long time;
- The plant causes an increase in blood pressure, so patients with hypertension should consult a doctor before starting treatment with this herb;
- Substances contained in St. John’s wort are capable of causing rejection of the transplanted organ. Therefore, patients who undergo surgery for organ transplantation or implantation of a transplant should not use medicines based on this plant;
- Women who take birth control pills should remember that St. John’s wort reduces their contraceptive effect, so it may be an unwanted pregnancy;
- Long-term use of this medicinal plant can cause weakening of the potency in men, which occurs after the drug has been discontinued;
- Drinking broths and infusions of St. John’s wort more than 1 month in a row can cause an increase in the liver;
- In patients with mental illness, this herb can cause an aggravation of manic syndrome. The same effect can occur with the simultaneous administration of St. John’s wort with other antidepressants. Patients may begin hallucinations, convulsions, confusion, in severe cases, coma may occur;
- Do not take St. John’s wort simultaneously with antibiotics, as it promotes faster removal of the drug from the body, so that the effect of antimicrobial therapy decreases;
- One more important observation: St. John’s wort can reduce twice the blood content of a very important drug from AIDS called Indinavir. Given this circumstance, people with AIDS should not use St. John’s Wort. In addition, the plant significantly reduces the effect of anticoagulants and cardiac agents, so it is better not to use it together with these agents;
- For older people who use modern antidepressants, St. John’s wort should be taken especially cautiously. The combination of this herb with antidepressants can lead to dizziness, confusion, a sense of anxiety and migraine attacks;
Care must be taken to use St. John’s wort for people who need anesthesia, since this plant is able to prolong or enhance the effect of certain pain medications. Therefore, before the introduction of anesthesia, it is very important to inform the doctor about the use of St. John’s Wort. Recent studies of the plant have shown that some components of the plant also have a negative effect on the optic nerve.