Saint John’s herb


Medicinal plant used to treat cases of mild to moderate depression, can be found in the form of capsules, tablets or infusion (tea).


Name in Portuguese: St. John’s wort, hypericum, Hypericum perforatum, peach herb, paprika, bell-furada, piricão, pirão, St. John’s
wort Binomial name: Hypericum perforatum L.
French name: millepertuis , Herbe de la Saint-Jean , herbe-à-mille-trous
English name: st John’s wort
German name: Johanniskraut
Italian name: iperico , erba di San Giovanni




Hypericin, hyperforin (at the beginning of interactions, favor preparations with a low hyperforin content, also read the item Interactions, below), flavonoids.

Note :
It is now (2020) estimated that all the active ingredients in St. John’s wort, in synergy, act as antidepressants and not just as hypericins, as was assumed in particular during the 2000s and part of the 2010s. words, the entire St. John’s weed plant acts against mild to moderate depression.

parts used

Flowering tops (St. John’s wort flowers), St. John’s wort oil.

St John’s wort effects

For internal use (pills, capsules, infusions):
Antidepressant (for mild to moderate depression), anxiolytic.

In external use (ointments, oil):
Disinfectant, antiviral, antibacterial and healing agent.


For internal use (tablet, capsule):
In case of mild to moderate depression , premenstrual syndrome (or premenstrual tension) ,  nocturnal enuresis with psychological causes.

Note: In general, the duration of treatment is 4 to 6 weeks minimum. The effect most often occurs only after 10 days of taking the drug for the first time.

In external use:
In case of wounds, minor burns , sciatica , neuralgia.

Secundary effects

Significant increase in body temperature and blood pressure risk of hypertension). Other possible side effects: anxiety, panic attacks, drowsiness, vomiting, amnesia and aggression. [source: University of Adelaide, Australia, July 1, 2015 press release on hypericum study]


Allergy, lactation and pregnancy. Severe depression. Read the package leaflet.

Interactions (in internal use)

St. John’s wort (an enzyme inducer) can interact with many medications and reduce their effectiveness, specifically by lowering the concentration of the drug in the blood. Drugs affected by this interaction are usually: oral anticoagulants, oral contraceptives (birth control pills), theophylline, cyclosporine, immunosuppressants, digitalis derivatives, antivirals such as indinavir and other HIV drugs, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) with a potential risk of suffering a fatal serotonin syndrome, etc.

It is important to know that hyperforin (an active ingredient in St. John’s wort or St. John’s wort) is responsible for most of these interactions. It would be important to favor preparations with zero or very low levels of hyperforin. However, studies have shown that St. John’s wort extracts with low hyperforin content (< 1 mg hyperforin per daily dose) do not exhibit clinically relevant pharmacokinetic interactions, as reported by the Swiss drug reference site pharmavista. net in February 2020 .

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for more information about these interactions. Please read the leaflet when purchasing St. John’s wort remedies.


For internal use
– Tablets, capsules based on St. John’s Wort (eg 100 mg of dry extract of Hypericum perforatum, equivalent to 0.30 mg of Hypericin)

– St. John’s wort infusion

– St. John’s wort tincture
(To add 2 to 3 drops in hot water or hot lemon balm tea )

– Maceration of St. John’s wort

For external use
– St. John’s wort cream

– St John’s wort essential oil

Where does St. John’s wort grow?

St. John’s wort grows in many regions where the climate is not too harsh. It grows in the fields, and in the mountains. St. John’s Wort is native to Europe.
This plant is especially fond of sunny locations.

When to Harvest St. John’s Wort?

St. John’s wort flowers are harvested during the summer.
St. John’s wort is named after its flowering, in Europe and North America, around the feast of St. John on June 24th.
It is advisable to pick the flowers of St. John’s wort (hypercoa) around midday, to guarantee high amounts of active principles.

Plant it yourself!

St. John’s wort is an invasive plant. This species is not suitable for growing in pots. Severely prune the plants in early spring, just before the onset of vegetation.


– The medical use of St. John’s wort as a psychotherapeutic agent has been known for over 2500 years. Since about 1985, St. John’s wort has been used in the treatment of mild and moderate depression and is now an important remedy in psychotherapy.1.

– We sometimes hear that St. John’s wort consumed in capsule or tablet form can cause side effects on the skin due to exposure to the sun, this is not true when used at the therapeutic dose, however it can exceptionally occur for very skin. clear.

Only when used in high doses, allergies and reactions to the sun can occur. You can expose yourself to UV rays without any problems, but of course applying sunscreen to prevent certain health problems (sunburn, skin cancer).

– In its indication for the treatment of mild to moderate depression, this herbal medicine is very effective, as much as other so-called chemical or synthetic medicines (clinical studies prove it). In 2009, researchers selected 29 clinical studies and concluded that hypericum (St. John’s wort) was more effective than placebo in cases of mild to moderate depression, and as effective as conventional (chemical) antidepressants, but with fewer effects. collateral. This study was published online July 24, 2009 in the journal Evidence-Based Mental Health (DOI: 10.1136/ebmh.12.3.78).
Hypericum’s advantage would be mainly due to the low risk of interactions with other medications, so it would cause fewer side effects (compared to chemical antidepressants). However, an Australian study published in July 2015 has questioned this view. According to researchers at the University of Adelaide in Australia, hypericum would cause as many side effects as fluoxetine, a widely used chemical antidepressant. This Australian study was published online May 19, 2015 in the journal Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology (DOI: 10.1111/1440-1681.12424).

– In France, St. John’s wort cannot be sold for the specific indication of cases of depression, due to its high risk of interaction. In Canada and Switzerland, this medication is available over-the-counter (OTC), meaning you don’t need a prescription to buy this product. In Germany, medicines based on St. John’s wort for depression require a doctor’s prescription.

– St. John’s wort is estimated to be the most widely used medicinal plant in the world to fight mild to moderate depression.

– The species name perforatum   from the scientific name Hypericum perforatum comes from the Latin and means perforations. In fact, the leaves of St. John’s wort (hypercoa) have many perforations that allow the entry of light. Scientifically, these small “holes” are not holes at all, but translucent glands.

Evidence-Based Mental Health (DOI: 10.1136/ebmh.12.3.78), i.mail-Offizin n° 4 – 2020, Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology (DOI: 10.1111/1440-1681.12424).

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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