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St John’s Wort - Hypericum perforatum

Traditionally used as a wound herb and pain remedy, it is nowadays becoming better known as an effective anti-depressant, and is believed to inhibit the enzyme monoamine oxidase ‘MAO’, which itself inhibits neurotransmitters involved in stimulating the brain. St John’s Wort has also been successfully used in treating SAD (seasonal affective disorder), and the emotional upsets associated with menopause. It has a restorative action on the nervous system and immune system - and has been used in AIDs treatments.

The yellow flowers of St John’s Wort flower in early to midsummer, and when infused in sunflower oil for 2 weeks produce a red oil which is good for soothing minor burns, sunburn, insect bites, nerve pain, sprains, strains, muscle pains, eczema, and itchy, irritated skin.

In Brazil, St. John’s Wort was considered to have curative powers as a remedy for snakebite; in Russia it was used against hydrophobia; and in Sicily was recommended as a balm for every wound. Travellers often placed a leaf of St. John’s Wort in their shoes to avoid tires - no matter how long the journey. A sprig of St John’s Wort and some dried thyme under your pillow is said to ensure sweet dreams and guard against nightmares.

! Excessive high doses or prolonged use has been linked to cataracts and nerve hypersensitivity. May increase photosensitivity of skin. Seek professional guidance before taking St. John’s Wort while using prescription drugs !


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