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St. Johns Wort 

Hypericum perfortatum

USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York. Vol. 2: 530.

St. John’s Wort is a well-known herb to treat anxiety and depression, but there is a lot of misinformation out there. There have been many studies on St. John’s wort and its effects on depression, anxiety, brain chemistry, sleep patterns, nervous exhaustion and wound healing. This is a very thoroughly studied herb with few mild and infrequent side effects seen in clinical studies. Risks only arise when taking this herb along side certain conventional medicines. By stimulating liver detoxification St. John’s wort lowers drug levels in the body quickly thus reducing their effectiveness. If you are taking a prescription medication consult your herbalist, holistic MD, acupunctureist, or other healthcare provider with knowledge of herbal/medicine interactions before beginning use. Not to be used with a MAO or Protease inhibitor. If you have severe depression, are suicidal, homicidal, listless, or are afraid you will hurt your self, others, your children, or have any other signs of severe depression seek medical attention immediately. According to my books, Holistic MD, Herbalist, and Midwife St. John’s wort is safe to take while pregnant and breastfeeding. Be sure to consult your health care provider before starting any new course of treatment. This is not intended as medical advice but for informational purposes only.

This plant with its beautiful bright yellow flowers with dotted petals and dark green leaves is much more than just an anxiety reducer and anti-depressant.


The flowering tops can be taken in an infusion, tincture, or tablet form.

It is commonly used to relieve anxiety, stress, and to treat mild to moderate depression. It can lead to better mood and morale.  It has a calming and tranquilizing effect, improves mental clarity, and strengthens the immune system. It sometimes helps treat insomnia. It relaxes and strengthens an over exerted, exhausted nervous system from stress or worry. It is a good treatment for the “winter blues” or SAD during winter months. The average time to notice the effect of the herb is between two and six weeks. If you are not seeing a difference after that time consult your medical provider about increasing your dose or combining other antianxiety or antidepressant herbs with the St. Johns wort to find what works best for you.

You can massage sore muscles and joints with the infused oil to ease pain from sprains, fibromyalgia, rheumatism, neuralgia, sciatica, muscle stiffness or soreness, arthritis pain, and any other musculoskeletal pain.

It helps dull nerve pain and speed tissue repair. It has been shown to help heal post-operative scars.

You can make an ointment with the oil infusion and use it for inflammation, wounds, burns, bruises, skin ulcers, shingles, bruises and varicose veins.

It is also a potent antiviral and is known to cleanse the liver.

St. John’s wort is sometimes known to cause photo-sensitivity. Use caution when you are in the sun for prolonged periods of time.

I have used St. Johns wort for over a year. I started adding it to my Crazy Pregnant Lady Tea when I was having depression issues while I was pregnant. I could have gone onto antidepressants, but instead decided to take the natural route. This tea and cutting gluten from my diet are what kept me sane throughout my pregnancy. I had two cups a day.  After giving birth I switched to taking St. John’s wort capsules (along with other herbs I will cover later) twice a day to help combat ppd. A great side effect of taking the St. John’s wort caps is that it has helped my back pain and sciatica immensely making my quality of life much better. It has helped me with my depression and anxiety issues and I love that it does not have many side effects, unlike prescription antidepressants.

Be sure you get your herbs from a trusted source. I get mine from Mountain Rose Herbs and can not tell you how happy I am with the quality of their herbs. The St. John’s wort from Mountain Rose Herbs is certified organic and smells wonderful. They also have capsules so that you don’t have to worry about dosage with the loose herb and oil infusion already made to use.

Have you used St. John’s wort? How? How did it work for you?


Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c

This blog shared on: Frugal Days Sustainable WaysHealthy2Day Wednesday, Wildcrafting Wednesday, WFMW, Natural Living Linkup,  The Gathering SpotHomestead barn hopHomesteader Blog CarnivalFrugal “I Did It” TuesdayAnti-Procrastination TuesdayLiving Green TuesdayTiny Tip TuesdayDomestically Divine


About Amanda

Amanda is a mother of two amazing toddlers. She is an herbalist, natural living guru, and real food, gluten free eating pro. She loves to help educate others on how to take control of their own health through natural living, real food, herbs, essential oils, and most of all - a positive mind set. Her other business Natural Herbal Living Magazine is all about helping people learn about how to use one herb a month on a deep and profound level.
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11 Responses to St. John’s Wort: An Herbal Primer

  1. New post! St. John’s Wort: An Herbal Primer. Check it out! #herb #antidepressant #postpartum #breastfeeding #natural

  2. Laurie says:

    Thanking you for sharing such a wealth of information. I think I need to add some St. John’s Wort to my medicine cabinet! 😉

  3. Margaret B. says:

    I grow SJW..and it is a beautiful plant. Mine is 3 years old now and about 4 ft high, 5 ft wide. Needs a lot of room, but not in the greatest soil. Very easy to grow and flowers wonderfully! The bees love it 🙂

    • Amanda says:

      That is so great to hear! I was planning on planting a few in the front yard as a bush but if it gets THAT big maybe it should live in the back yard! And I love bees. 🙂

  4. Debbie says:

    I made St. John’s Wort oil maybe 10years ago. Do you think it still has healing properties left in it?

    • Amanda says:

      Infused oils are usually only food for 1-2 years. After about 2 years the oil will start to go rancid. I would probably toss it 🙁

  5. Joyce says:

    Just stopped by from the Natural Living Blog Hop. I was just do some research on St John’s Root, my daughter suffers from anxiety and panic attacks, I think I am going to purchase some for her. I just bought two samples of Young Living Oils for her to try, lavender and peace & calming. She see which of them helps, I buy some products from MRH, along with The Bulk Herb Store, love their videos.

    • Amanda says:

      That sounds great! I know lavender helps a lot. I love serenity when my daughter is going crazy. It helps center her a lot.

  6. […] and drinking my Crazy Pregnant Lady Tea that helped keep the crazy at bay. I also started taking St. Johns Wort for anxiety and depression after much research and consulting my midwife, herbalist and homeopathic […]

  7. […] am also pretty sure I found some St. Johns Wort but I have to go back with a better herb guide. Mine did not have it on the sheet I take out with […]

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