A couple months ago, my mom sent me a package for my birthday. My usual favorite European treats and some of my mom’s herbal teas, she grows and dries herself.
Among them, a yellow flowering herb I have never tried before: St. John’s wort. The plant gets its name because it is often in full bloom around June 24, the day traditionally celebrated as the birthday of John the Baptist.
My mom wrote a little note accompanying the plant, it was saying something like: “St. John’s wort has antibacterial and antiviral properties.” Not really something I felt I needed, but I was like “Oh, cool, can’t hurt”.
I brewed some and actually enjoyed the slightly sweet and bitter taste of this herbal tea. I have it when I am not in the mood of “great tea” (I know, how can you not be in the mood of fine tea? Well, when it’s 11pm and you want something warm but don’t want to “waste” your excellent tea at night)
Anyway, since I am a naturally curious person, I decided to do a little bit more research about this plant and its benefits. So here are a couple interesting benefits of drinking St. John’s wort tea:
- This plant has a pronounced antibacterial effect and it is a natural antiseptic. St. John’s Wort is used for ages as an effective natural remedy for healing wounds, burns, cuts, hemorrhoids. For internal use it is excellent remedy for pain in the stomach, liver, against the diarrhea and intestinal parasites.
You may think, “well, I am not sick, I don’t have parasites” etc..well, the thing is, either we like it or not, we do carry these things inside our bodies or are subjected to them without knowing. Even if your lifestyle is quite healthy, these are just things that happen. If you own pets, even if you cooked your food, it doesn’t contain parasites but it feeds them. Anyway not to go on an on about that, but The University of Maryland says, “Parasites can live within the intestines for years without causing any symptoms.” fascinating, huh?
If you’re interested in knowing more about parasites and how to eliminate them naturally, I recommend this article written by Lawrence Wilson, MD.
- St. John’s wort is a natural anti-depressant. In recent years, the plant has grown in popularity to fight against depression. In a comparative clinical trial it has been found to be as effective as antidepressant drugs (such as Prozac, Celexa, paroxetine (Paxil), and Zoloft), therefore it can be used for the treatment of mild forms of depression. If you’re curious, read the review of these people who tried it.
- Therefore folk medicine says that it is a plant for all diseases. Used as oil, in cooking etc. it has calming and relaxing properties. It can also be a remedy for pain in the stomach. It is good for skin care, especially dry, sensitive and damaged skin. Provides excellent protection from the sun and radiation.
Anyway, this post doesn’t pretend to give medical advice, of course, always be sure to consult with a physician. Do not take St. John’s Wort if you are pregnant.
The list goes on… it can be used as a painkiller or sedative, as well as to treat minor to severe health conditions including burns and bruises, mood swings, sleep disorders, bed-wetting in children, malaria, lung and kidney problems, tuberculosis, uterine cramping, PMS, hemorrhoids, peptic ulcers, gastrointestinal problems, breathing problems, hangovers and alcoholism. Preliminary studies have found that it may also help with psoriasis, sore throats, chronic coughs, sinus infections, Parkinson’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, nerve pain, depression, anxiety and mental disorders.