As herbal medicine tiptoed into the mainstream in the 1990s, St. John’s wort joined the ranks of gingko biloba, ginseng and echinacea as stars of the supplement shelves. The demand for alternatives to conventional medicine grew, patients began searching for help with frequent ailments and a healthy consumer boom was born. Saint John’s Wort has also been used in assisting with insomnia, neurosis, neuralgia, tinnitus, bruising, rheumatic pain and inflammation as well as aiding in wound healing.
St. John’s Wort is famous for its anti-depressant activity. It has been used in folk medicine for thousands of years 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.
Studies suggest that St. John’s Wort has significant amounts of hyperforin and hypericin which may raise the release of neurotransmitters (dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin) that modulate brain signals between cells and play an important role in the optimal functionality of our nervous system. Hypericin in St. John’s Wort may also be capable of inhibiting a bodily chemical, monoamine oxidase, which is associated with anxiety and depression. As a result, this herb may induce the sense of well being which can help with mild to moderate depression, mood swings, wintertime blues, low energy levels, and chronic fatigue.
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