This flowering herb grows in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. It was a popular ingredient in natural cures as far back as Roman days. Modern medicine pushed it into the sidelights along with many other traditional treatments. With today’s growing enthusiasm for natural medications, interest in this herb has revived. Some studies confirm ancient beliefs in its curative qualities. It is now easy to find St. John’s Wort or goatweed as some call it, in natural health product stores. People take it raw, or they can get it in the form of capsules and oils.
Can help to fight off viruses
When the doctor finds no trace of a bacterial infection, a virus becomes the most likely cause of the illness. While antibiotics offer a tried and tested treatment approach in such cases, there is no comparable virus treatment. This explains the interest in the recent discovery of antiviral properties in St.John’s Wort. It is theoretically possible that it will help to treat illnesses such as hepatitis, or even AIDS. The challenge comes from the fact that only big doses seem to have this antiviral effect. Taking this amount of St. John’s Wort could cause conflict with other medicines that the patient needs.
An alternative to anti-depressants
There are justifiable fears about the large amounts of anti-depressant drugs doctors prescribe. Some believe that St. John’s Wort could offer both an effective and safe alternative to these prescription medications. The scientific analysis confirms that the herb contains chemicals that block or hold back negative mood transmitters. Many doctors and mental health professionals have been using it successfully for this purpose over a number of years. This use looks like to increase as its value gains wider recognition.
Treats feminine health issues
Substances extracted from this herb help women cope with the very physically and emotionally taxing periods that occur naturally during their lives. The days immediately before the start of a menstrual cycle and the menopause phase are full of such tensions. St. John’s Wort contains chemicals that counterbalance the severe mood variations that these bodily changes set in motion. In addition to easing the mental torment, users of the herb find relief from cramps and other physical symptoms.
Relief from anxiety
The same chemicals that aid women cope with the side effects of the menstrual cycle makes St. John’s Wort of general value to those who suffer from anxiety problems. The pressures of modern, urban life account for some of this increase in the numbers of people complaining about difficulties getting to sleep, of nerves that seem to be on edge much of the time, and a feeling of being drained of energy. The chemicals the herb releases in the body making it easier to attain a healthy hormone balance and to reduce stress symptoms significantly.
A tested herbal painkiller and heart health enhancer
Anyone who has arthritis, or other illnesses that produce joint pains, is desperate to obtain relief. Injections and other conventional medical approaches have their advantages, but many people prefer a natural treatment. People who have these conditions have found that St. John’s Wort reduces their pains. Studies show how it can reduce inflammations. This one of the principal reasons why natural medicine experts believe it contributes to good heart health by bringing down high blood pressure and thus easing the burden the heart operates under.
Freeing addicts from the bounds of their additions
A considerable proportion of those addicted to alcohol, cigarette and various drugs, long to free themselves of their addictions. Societies also invest heavily in a range of programs designed to help these people achieve this objective. By its very nature, these kinds of addictions are extremely hard to break. The many who try but fail to break these habits testify to the truth of this statement. There is some speculation over whether St. John’s Wort can help addicts deal better with severe withdrawal symptoms. We are waiting for the results of further research to know what difference it makes.
Could help to boost immunity
Another area of interest focuses on how St. John’s Wort might raise immunity levels. The free radical compounds attack cell tissue in weak bodies. Individuals living on unhealthy diets and in bad environments suffer serious damage from these attacks. Antioxidants are also naturally present in the body to defend it against this damage, but they are not fully effective if the immune system is weak. The herb releases chemicals that boost these defensive forces and protect DNA from harm.
An ancient treatment for burns
Hundreds of years ago a victim of a minor burn might have used St. John’s Wort to soothe the pain and help heal the damaged skin. They would pour oil directly onto the skin, or dab it on with a cloth several times a day. This method is still a good treatment option for slight burns, but anyone who suffers a serious burn still needs to go to their nearest hospital or doctor for immediate care.
Good for treating cuts and scratches
Before you put that antiseptic liquid or sticking a plaster on that cut or graze, consider a healthier treatment option. For ages, one of the most popular medicinal uses for this herb has been applying its oil to such simple cuts and scratches. It helps to prevent inflammation and speeds up the healing process. Natural cure specialists advise putting the oil on the wound indoors as this minimizes the risks of dirt getting into the wound.
Hope for parents frustrated with bed-wetting
This is a well-known minor problem for certain children, and it often turns into a challenge to find a reliable solution. St. John’s Wort can reduce the instances of bed-wetting in some cases. However, although the herb rarely irritates, it is wise to take special care when using it with children. This reservation also applies to pregnant women.