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St. Johnswort April 18, 2009

Posted by woodtree0587 in Plants/Civilizations.


For about 2400 years, St. Johnswort had been used for many different purposes thought-out history. St. Johnswort is a perennial shrub that produces abundant yellow flowers that is native to Europe and North Africa. The early Christians converted this plant as a symbol of St. John the Baptist because this plant blooms around June 24 which is St. John’s Day. The Greeks thought that it chased away spirits then the Christians decided that it was God-related and should have a name of a holy person.

St. Johnswort was brought to the United States in 1696 as a medicinal, ornamental and “magical” plant. It is now grown naturally throughout most of the world. You can find it specifically in northern California, southern Oregon and Colorado.

St. Johnswort has become one of the most popular herbal remedies for several different medical uses. This plant has been used for centuries to treat mental disorders and nerve pain. Back in ancient days herbalists used it as a sedative and a treatment for malaria. It is also used as balm for wounds, burns and insect bites. Today we have discovered several new uses that we use for depression, anxiety and sleep disorders. There has also been some research that shows that there are some antiviral compounds that may be useful in the treatment of AIDS. It is still commonly used as a painkiller for relieving arthritis pain and menstrual cramping, and relief for gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, nausea and ulcers.

As with any herbal use there are side effects and cautions for children and elderly. St. Johnswort is not recommended for children unless under physician care. Women who are pregnant or currently lactating, patients with bi-polar or are considered as manic-depressive should not take this drug. It can cause photosensitivity, anxiety, dry mouth, dizziness, gastrointestinal symptoms, fatigue, headache or sexual dysfunction. Other affects can be disorientation and speech difficulty, rigidity of neck muscles or contractions of other muscles, pupil dilation, sudden rise in blood pressure and palpitations, severe sweating and high fever.



1. Theresa Schlei - April 21, 2009

I certainly enjoy reading your blog. Being a Horticulture major, I already know about growing and caring for plants. But this gives more unique information about plants that I’m not as familiar with. Thanks for the really interesting posts. Keep up the good work!

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