St John’s Wort
Latin: Hypericum perforatum L.
Commonly found herbaceous perennial growing up to about 1m tall.
Shoots erect and branching on the upper parts.
Leaves pale green, sessile and oblong linear, 1-2cm long and covered in translucent oil ducts creating a perforated appearance, hence name perforatum.
Bright yellow flowers with 5 petals appear June – August.
Parts used: Herb.
Essential oil – used topically.
Anti inflammatory, astringent.
Widely used for mild to moderate depression – supported by many clinical trials.
Effect on neurotransmitters – serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine.
Psychological issues associated with menopause.
Contraindicated with oral contraceptives, cyclosporins and protease inhibitors.
May cause photosensitivity in some.