ST JOHN'S WORT
This herb's common name, "St John's Wort" is thought to honor John the Baptist, due to its flowering period coinciding with the late June Feast of St John.
The genus "Hypericum" is from the Greek hyper (above) and eikon (picture), which may have been given since the flowers were once placed above religious images and doorways to ward off evil.
When Hypericum perforatum flowers are infused in oil or alcohol, they impart a deep red hue into the medium. This red hue is attributed to the active medicinal compound and pigment known as hypericin, which is one of the main active ingredients. Hypericin can be seen quite clearly as tiny red dots (glands) along the edge of each flower petal.
St John's Wort was traditionally used as treatment for mental disorders and nerve pain and is currently used as an alternative therapy for depression and some mood disorders, with scientifically verifiable results.
St John's Wort can be used as a topical analgesic, wound healer and to support healing of nerve tissue damage. In addition, a 2003 double-blind study, showed that a cream containing St John's Wort delivered promising results in cases of mild to moderate atopic dermatitis.
In a 2010 study, researchers demonstrated that St John's Wort contains active compounds that heal wounds associated with inflammation such as bruises, varicose veins, first-degree burns (including sunburn and radiation burns. It was also shown to help reduce pain and pruritus associated with caesarian.
Although there is concern over increased photo-sensitization in people taking St John's Wort orally, there are no known reports or studies at the time of writing to suggest any photo-sensitization for individuals with the topical use of this herb.
Skin Care Benefits:
Anti-Inflammatory, Wound Healer, Anti-viral, Anti-bacterial, Analgesic
Alchemilla Products Containing this Herb:
- Healing Lip Balm
- Hypericum Ointment
- St John's Wort Olive Oil Extract