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St. John's Wort - – Hypericum perforatum

Usable part of the herb - stalks from St. John's Wort - Herba Hyperici.

Family Hypericaceae

Description. St. John's wort is a perennial herb with straight, highly branched in the upper part, circular, reddish stems, up to 50-60 cm. The leaves are opposite, sessile, oval elliptic to oval lanceolate, entire, long 1-3 sm. Seen against light, they seem dashed (perforated) because of the large containers, essential oil, which are in mesophiles leaves. The flowers are gathered in clusters on the top of the stem. Calyx with 5 oblong pointed, free, entire leaflets. Gum leaves are 5 yellow free. The fruit is ovoid three-well box. The plant blooms in summer.

Distribution. The herb St. John's wort occurs around grassy areas, bushes, clearings, rare woods near roads, fields and others. throughout the country.

Drugs stalks from St. John's Wort - Herba Hyperici.

Aboveground part is collected during the flowering period (July-August). Cut upper portion of the stems of 20 cm. from the top. Stems are tied to the bouquet and dried in the shade or in a drying oven at temperatures up to 45 ° C. Leafy stems are green and yellow colors, resinous smell and bitter taste. St. John's wort may contain moisture not more than 12%.

Chemical composition. St. John's wort contains hypericin colorants and pseudo-hypericin (condensed anthracene derivatives), catechin tannins (up 10%), flavonoid glycosides hiperozid, rutin and kvertsitrin, greenish colored essential oil (consisting primarily of sesquiterpen), ascorbic acid, fitonitsidi, resinous substances, many carotene and traces of nicotinic acid.

Action and use. Anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic action of St. John's wort is primarily due to the flavonoid glycosides that soothe the lining of the mouth, stomach and intestines and act favorably on hyperacidity, gastritis and gastric ulcer. Flavonoids have multiple pharmacological properties - have antispasmodic effect on smooth muscle, bile ducts, intestines, blood vessels and ureters. Have bile out action, thus eliminating the conditions for the formation of gallstones. St. John's wort not only removes spasm of blood vessels - especially the capillaries, but has capillary-strengthened and toning action that connects to the presence of vitamin D in the herb.

With the existence of hypericin is explained photosensitizing effect of the St. John's wort herb, but it can be obtained with the use of alcohol, acetone, ether, and the extract or juice of the fresh plant. This action thereof is used for treating vitiligo, in order to remove stains on the skin depigmentation. St. John's wort tones the nervous system in neurogenic depression and depression in psycho-vegetative syndrome, anxiety, insomnia. The antimicrobial effect of the drug due to the content of phytoncides which are active against a large number of bacteria. Ether, alcohol and acetone extracts of St. John's Wort have antibacterial effect on Staphylococcus aureus and other Gram-positive organisms. The herb is applied externally in the form of an oily extract in the treatment of ulcers and difficult healing wounds. St. John's Wort is prescribed more in kidney stones and gall bladder, liver disease, wounds after burns, inflammation of the sciatic nerve and as a diuretic.

In folk medicine St John's Wort is used in inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, peptic ulcer disease, gallstones and bedwetting in children and adolescents.

Usage. Two tablespoons of dried stalks of St. John's wort pour 400 ml. boiling water and cook for 5 mn. Leave to soak for 60 minutes. After percolation of decoction is taken three times a day in 120 ml. after a meal. The oil extract of St. John's wort is prepared from 100 g of drugs, which is soaked in 500 g of olive oil and leave for 10 days of light (maybe the sun). From St. John's wort extract is taken 2 teaspoons morning, noon and evening before meals.