St John’s Wort is a natural remedy that can be used to treat symptoms of mental health problems such as depression, mild anxiety, troubled sleep and even Seasonal Affected Disorder.
The botanical name for St John’s wort is Hypericum perforatum. It contains the active ingredients hypericin and hyperforin, as well as other substances present in the plant. Hypericin is the ingredient used to treat depression, and hyperforin has antibiotic properties.
Research suggests that St John’s Wort not only works in a smilar way to antidepressants, but that it works faster and has fewer reported side effects. Many people suffering from mental health issues (whether long term or circumstantial) report that taking St John’s Wort considerably improved their quality of life and helped them to cope.
There are certain circumstances when you should avoid taking St John’s Wort: if you suffer from bipolar disorder, if you are on antidepressants, if you take sleeping pills or are likely to require anaesthetics, or if you take oral contraceptives.
As well as being an antidepressant, St John’s Wort can also be used to ease worn muscles, nerves and bones.
At The Olive Tree, we carry several types of St John’s Wort. The most popular is the dried herb, which can be steeped in hot water to make a tea and drunk up to three times a day; there is also a ready mixed herbal tea called “Happy Times Tea,” which has St John’s Wort as one of its main ingredients.
We also stock organic St John’s Wort infused oil, which can be applied as a soothing and moisturizing ‘after sun’ lotion or blended into home-made skin care lotions. However, it should never be used as a pre-sun lotion as the herb has photosensitizing properties that will cause the skin to burn more easily. Cover any treated areas that may be exposed to sunlight for three hours after application of this oil. This oil should not come into contact with open wounds.
All our herbal remedies are produced by Star Child, a company known for it’s quality and care.
There’s a commonly held belief that herbal remedies, being natural, are completely safe and free of side effects. This, sadly, is not the case and so herbal remedies must be approached with the same degree of care as conventional medicines. If ever you are in doubt, it is always wisest to consult a professional herbalist before beginning a course of natural remedies.