Common St. John’s Wort, lovely flower with a ton of medical uses, especially with depression.
St. John’s wort Facts
St. John’s wort is a type of herbaceous plant that belongs to the family Hypericaceae. This plant is native to Europe, but it can be found around the world today. St. John’s wort inhabits pastures, meadows, woodlands, deforested areas and habitats disturbed by fire. It grows on well-drained, moist soil, in sunny areas or in the partial shade. St. John’s wort spr…eads quickly and easily occupies new habitats. It is classified as invasive species in numerous countries. Despite its invasive nature, St. John’s wort is one of the most respected and most commonly used types of medical herbs.
St. John’s wort has multi-branched, reddish stem that can reach 1 to 3 feet in height.
St. John’s wort develops strong taproot and numerous lateral roots. Taproot usually grows 2 to 5 feet below the ground.
St. John’s wort has narrow, oblong, light green leaves. They are oppositely arranged on the branches.
St. John’s wort produces yellow or orange flowers covered with black dots on the edges of petals. Flowers are star-shaped, gathered in flat-topped clusters.
St. John’s wort blooms at the beginning of the summer and attracts numerous insects (mostly bees and bumblebees) that are responsible for the pollination.
Fruit of St. John’s wort is reddish-brown capsule divided in three sections filled with dark seed.
St. John’s wort can be propagated via seed, cuttings or via division of root.
St. John’s wort leaves are covered with numerous oil glands that are nearly transparent when leaves are oriented toward the sun. Latin name of the plant, Hypericum perforatum (perforatum means perforated in Latin), refers to “see-through” leaves of St. John’s wort.
According to old European tradition, St. John’s wort is harvested on the 24th of June. This date is celebrated as St. John’s day in Eastern Orthodox church, hence the name – St. John’s wort.
St. John’s wort contains numerous compounds that are effective in treatment of depression, anxiety and mood swings during menopause, among many other disorders.
St. John’s wort needs to be consumed cautiously because it reduces activity of birth control pills and drugs used in treatment of AIDS, anxiety, insomnia, arrhythmia and hypercholesterolemia (when consumed simultaneously