Hypericum perfoliatum aka St John’s Wort

This amazing plant serves us well both as a homeopathic remedy and an herb. You will find it used as a homeopathic remedy in several of our WHITE TUI remedies.  St John’s Wort is known as ‘the flower of light’ – its bright yellow flowers symbolizing the sun which casts out evil. It is also under the sign of Leo.

As an Herb:

The leaves and petals have characteristic oil glands, which give hypericums their aroma and colour. The leaves, when held up to the sunlight, have little perforations in them; this added to the magical association (the ancient practice of the use of pins to poke in dolls) and the yellow flowers when placed in water, gave up a dark red tincture which looks like blood. It is also a plant closely associated with the ‘Little People” or Fairy Folk – powerful beings who lived in the Underworld, known by both Europeans and the Native American Indians.

Cultivation:

As Hypericum is invasive it is best grown in an area on its own or in a tub or pot. It is considered a noxious weed in NZ because it can cause sensitivity in sheep.

It grows easily from root cuttings or seed and prefers sunny, well-drained, chalky soil.

Part used:

Flowers are best.

Constituents:

Include volatile oil, sesquiterpenes incl. caryophyllene, n-alkanes, pinenes, Flavonoids incl. rutin, quercetin, Resin, Tannins,

Glycosides containing a red pigment, incl. hypericin, pseudohypericin, Xanthones, coumarins, carotenoids.

Actions:         

Anti-depressant  Anti-inflammatory, Astringent, Vulnerary, Sedative, Nervine  Anti-viral. (hypericin)

Indications:

a near universal panacea.  Depression, neuralgia, anxiety, tension, nervous headaches – a tonic for the nervous system, depression assoc. with menopause

Mood-clearing (takes about 3 months) – ability to enhance the effect of neurotransmitters in the brain. Helps with seasonal affective disorder with long periods of darkness and little sunlight; helpful with jet lag,.

Reduces BP, capillary fragility, PMS,

Diuretic action reducing fluid retention; relieves bedwetting in children and incontinence.

Spinal viruses, (meningitis), measles, shingles, chicken pox, influenza.

Externally as a lotion for wounds, bruises, varicose veins, mild burns (sunburn), bites, stings, shingles.

Respiratory – has an expectorant action, speeding recovery from coughs and chest infections. Helps with TB, ‘flu, AIDS, HIV, and cancer – seems to interfere with the reproduction of retroviruses. Decongests the liver, harmonises the stomach, spleen, pancreas, liver and gallbladder to assist weak digestive organs.

Combinations:

With Chamomile, provides a good muscle relaxant.

Contraindications

Care should be taken if Hypericum is being used with medical drugs – Hypericum can interact with certain allopathic drugs mainly through lessening their effectiveness.

Do not use for serious depression with psychotic symptoms or suicidal risk

Do not use where known photosensitivity; if using, avoid long time in full sun and artificial UVA radiation

As a Homeopathic Remedy

The tincture is prepared from whole fresh St John’s Wort plant.

Hypericum is an injury remedy, especially for injuries to the nerves and spine

The hallmark of Hypericum is the sharp and shooting quality of the pains.

This remedy may also help to prevent tetanus.

It has an affinity for the peripheral nervous system where hypersensitivity may be present.

Keynotes:

injuries to nerve-rich areas, nerve damage, animal bites, puncture wounds, spinal injuries.

The pains of Hypericum are shooting, tingling, burning, numbness.

Uses:

Injuries: contusions, lacerations, puncture wounds, injuries to parts rich in nerves

Trauma, convulsions, concussion

Injuries of spine (fractures, sprains) with sharp shooting pains, worse raising arms

Injuries to the coccyx

Skin – Sweating with eczema, sloughing and necrosis.

Painful scars

Liver dysfunction with jaundice

Hemorrhoids

Injuries to coccyx following labour, delivery.

Muscular jerking with pain & sensitivity over lumbar & sacral region

Phantom limb pain

Spine – injuries especially coccygeal area, traumatic myelitis, disc trouble ( eg. Dachshunds)

Nervous system action: wounds likely to lead to tetanus (given with homeopathic Ledum) – given early it helps prevent spread of toxin along nerve sheath

Wounds – Pain of open wounds – Lacerated with nerve-ending damage, Abscess formation, Nail, toe, genitalia, teeth, eye injuries, Post op pain.

As a Flower Essence:

The remedy of light. Suited to sensitive people prone to fears of dark, psychic attack, causing restlessness, disturbed sleep and nightmares.

For those oversensitive to sunlight and heat.

Main animal use:

– Reduces pain in open lacerated wounds. (Make a tea of the fresh herb or 10-30 drops of the tincture, with ¼ teaspoon of non-iodised salt, into cup of sterilsed water).

– In closed injuries in areas rich in nerve endings and crush injuries (e.g. nose, tail, toes, tongue, teeth & gums).

– Spinal injuries, prolapsed disc..

– Ill effects of brain & spinal cord, concussion of..

– Post-op for pain relief. Phantom Limb pain.

– Stings of insects, burns.

– Hacking cough

NB: Can cause photosensitivity and serious sunburn in animals grazing on pastures growing the plant. White animals are more sensitive. It is for this reason that Hypericum is considered a pest in pastures.

Case Study:

A 6 y.o.Rottweiler bitch diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her ® hind leg.

Because of the nature of the cancer and affirmation that it had not spread it was decided to amputate the leg. Together with other herbs, homeopathics, and very tidy surgery, the dog managed very well but seemed to be troubled by the surgical site and would swing her head around and glare at it.

It eventually dawned on the owner that she was experiencing phantom limb pain. Homeopathic Hypericum 200c was given twice daily for 7 days and then reduced to daily for a month. No more problems.