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st. john's wort in jar and bowl

St. John’s Wort Guide

If you’re feeling a bit blue, lift your spirits with St. John’s Wort, the traditional herb for mood and relaxation.

In This Healthy Insight:

st. john's wort

Fun Facts about St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

  • “Wort” is an old English word meaning plant.
  • St. John’s wort is found in prairies, pastures, and disturbed fields. It prefers sandy soils.
  • The plant is poisonous to grazing animals.
  • St. John’s wort can grow up to 3 feet in height.
  • The flowers measure about 1 inch across, have five petals, and are colored bright yellow with distinct black dots.
  • When flower buds or seed pods are crushed, a reddish or purple liquid is produced.
  • Ancient Romans used St. John’s wort during battles to treat inflammation and heal wounds.
  • St. John’s wort has a long history as a symbol of midsummer in Europe. It was thrown into a bonfire and individuals would jump over the bonfire to cleanse the body of evil spirits.
  • St John’s wort symbolizes protection and rebirth. It is also often associated with cheerfulness and inspiration.

What is St. John’s Wort?

St. John’s wort is a shrub native to Europe with yellow star-shaped flowers. Although pretty, it’s often considered a weed in the United States. The plant is named after St. John the Baptist since it usually flowers around June 24, St. John’s feast day, the traditional anniversary of his death. At this time it’s reported that red spots appear on the plant’s leaves, representing the blood spilled when John the Baptist was beheaded.  

St. John’s wort is one of the most common herbal remedies sold in the United States.

Other names include: Amber, Amber Touch-and-Heal, Demon Chaser, Goatweed, Hardhay, Herbe de la Saint-Jean, Klamath Weed, Rosin Rose, Saynt Johannes Wort, Tipton Weed.

The medicinal part of the plant is made up of the dried stems, petals and flowers.

woman smiling and in a good mood

What are the benefits of St. John’s Wort?

St. John’s wort has a history of medicinal use dating back to ancient Greece where it was used for a variety of health issues including the treatment of wounds. Today it is mainly used for:

  • Mood
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Sadness
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep
  • Appetite
  • Relaxation
  • Women’s life cycles

Two chemicals, hypericin and hyperforin, play a major role in how St. John’s wort works in your body, possibly affecting the serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine neurotransmitters in your brain.

How do I take St. John’s Wort?

Botanic Choice offers several options for St. John’s wort including easy-to-swallow capsules, liquid extract, homeopathic pellets and in blends like Stress-Ez. As always, be sure to ask your doctor before adding St. John’s wort or any other supplement to your healthcare routine.

It’s not by chance that St. John’s wort has been a favorite for centuries. Could this be right for you? Try it and find out for yourself.

Browse St. John's Wort

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