St. John’s Wort is a popular herb widely used across the world. The leaves and flowers are used to make a wide range of medicines that help in the treatment and prevention of several diseases.

Functions of St. John’s Wort

  • St. John’s Wort can help in the treatment of depression and related mental conditions. It helps neutralize chemicals in the brain thereby providing relief from mental disorders. However, for maximum benefits St. John’s Wort should be consumed with other medication.
  • It is said to have properties as strong as manufactured drugs.
  • It also helps in the treatment of anxiety and panic attacks.
  • When taken orally it can significantly help reduce stomach upsets and infections.
  • When applied topically, it can help treat first degree burns, cuts, bruises and muscle pains.
  • It can be used in the treatment of migraine attacks too.
  • Sometimes, it can be effective in treating nerve pain in people.
  • Certain kinds of cancer can be treated with a combination of drugs and St. John’s Wort.
  • It can help in the treatment of OCB’s and also to reduce spasms arising due to menstruation pain.
  • Certain skin conditions can also effectively be treated with St. John’s Wort.
  • It can help reduce the habit of smoking and also to treat attention deficit disorder in people.
  • It helps to regulate mood disorders in people too by effectively acting on the chemical brain messengers in the body.

Tips and Warnings

  • If used for short periods of time it can be safe for most people.
  • Certain side effects may still occur as a result of regular use.
  • Some people may suffer from insomnia, bad dreams, other sleep disorders and restlessness as a result.
  • Other side effects include anxiety, irritability, stomach upsets, severe fatigue, dryness in the mouth, extreme dizziness, constant headaches, skin rashes, stomach infections and even diarrhea, tingling sensation, etc.
  • When used topically for extended periods of time it may make the skin too sensitive. Adequate protective gear should be worn when exposed to the sun in that case.
  • People who are pregnant or nursing newborn babies should avoid St. John’s Wort. It may alleviate mood problems in these women or cause harm to the newborn baby or fetus.
  • If you are trying to conceive it is better to avoid taking St. John’s Wort in any form.
  • Although it may be used to treat attention deficit disorder, it is safer to avoid taking the medicine unless there is no other choice if you are already suffering from ADHD.
  • People with bipolar disorder should avoid St. John’s Wort.
  • People suffering from Alzheimer’s, Dementia and related age related illnesses should avoid taking St. John’ Wort.
  • If you are about to undergo surgery, then avoid the herb until after the surgery. Otherwise it will lead to excessive bleeding which may prove to be fatal during a surgery.