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Hypericum perforatum - L.
                 
Common Name St. John's Wort, Common St. Johnswort
Family Hypericaceae
USDA hardiness 3-7
Known Hazards Skin contact with the sap, or ingestion of the plant, can cause photosensitivity in some people[13, 76, 222]. Common side-effects are gastointestinal disturbances, allergic reactions & fatigue. If used with drugs classed as serotonin reuptake inhibitors (fluoxetine:Prozac, paroxetine:Paxil) symptoms of serotonin syndrome may occur: mental confusion, hallucinations, agitation, headache, coma, shivering, sweating, fever, hypertension, tachycardia, nausea, diarrheoa, tremors. St John's wort can reduce the effectiveness of prescription medicine inc: contraceptive pill, antidepressants, immune suppressants, HIV medications, warfarin, digoxin [301].
Habitats Open woods, hedgebanks and grassland, in dry sunny places, usually on calcareous soils[7, 17].
Range Europe, including Britain, south and east to N. Africa, the Azores, Madeira and W. Asia.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary

Hypericum perforatum St. John


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hypericum_perforatum_i01.jpg
Hypericum perforatum St. John
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pethan
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Hypericum perforatum is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.9 m (3ft) by 0.6 m (2ft in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3. It is in flower from May to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, self.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms
Hypericum deidesheimense, Hypericum vulgare, Hypericum lineolatum, Hypericum mixtum.

Habitats
Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Meadow; Hedgerow;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts:
Edible Uses: Tea.

The herb and the fruit are sometimes used as a tea substitute[7, 183]. The flowers can be used in making mead[183].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Analgesic;  Antidepressant;  Antiseptic;  Antispasmodic;  Aromatic;  Astringent;  Cholagogue;  Digestive;  
Diuretic;  Expectorant;  Homeopathy;  Nervine;  Resolvent;  Sedative;  Stimulant;  
Vermifuge;  Vulnerary.

St. John's wort has a long history of herbal use. It fell out of favour in the nineteenth century but recent research has brought it back to prominence as an extremely valuable remedy for nervous problems[254]. In clinical trials about 67% of patients with mild to moderate depression improved when taking this plant[254]. The flowers and leaves are analgesic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aromatic, astringent, cholagogue, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, nervine, resolvent, sedative, stimulant, vermifuge and vulnerary[4, 9, 13, 21, 165, 218, 222]. The herb is used in treating a wide range of disorders, including pulmonary complaints, bladder problems, diarrhoea and nervous depression[4]. It is also very effectual in treating overnight incontinence of urine in children[4]. Externally, it is used in poultices to dispel herd tumours, caked breasts, bruising etc[4]. The flowering shoots are harvested in early summer and dried for later use[7]. Use the plant with caution and do not prescribe it for patients with chronic depression[238]. The plant was used to procure an abortion by some native North Americans, so it is best not used by pregnant women[257]. See also the notes above on toxicity[21, 222]. A tea or tincture of the fresh flowers is a popular treatment for external ulcers, burns, wounds (especially those with severed nerve tissue), sores, bruises, cramps etc[222, 238]. An infusion of the flowers in olive oil is applied externally to wounds, sores, ulcers, swellings, rheumatism etc[240]. It is also valued in the treatment of sunburn and as a cosmetic preparation to the skin[240]. The plant contains many biologically active compounds including rutin, pectin, choline, sitosterol, hypericin and pseudohypericin[222]. These last two compounds have been shown to have potent anti-retroviral activity without serious side effects and they are being researched in the treatment of AIDS[222, 238]. A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh whole flowering plant[232]. It is used in the treatment of injuries, bites, stings etc and is said to be the first remedy to consider when nerve-rich areas such as the spine, eyes, fingers etc are injured[232].
Other Uses
Dye;  Tannin.

Yellow, gold and brown dyes are obtained from the flowers and leaves[168]. A red is obtained from the flowers after acidification[141]. A red dye is obtained from the whole plant when infused in oil or alcohol[7, 61, 115]. A yellow is obtained when it is infused in water[7, 74, 115]. The plant is said to contain good quantities of tannin, though exact figures are not available[223].
Cultivation details
Easily grown in any reasonably good well-drained but moisture retentive soil[1]. Succeeds in dry soils[238]. Plants grow well in sun or semi-shade but they flower better when in a sunny position[200]. St. John's wort is often found as a weed in the garden[1]. It grows well in the summer meadow and is a useful plant for attracting insects[24]. The whole plant, especially when in bloom, gives off a most unpleasant smell when handled[245]. Hypericum perforatum is apparently an allotetraploid that would appear to have arisen from a cross between two diploid taxa, viz. H. maculatum subsp. maculatum (Europe to western Siberia) and H. attenuatum (western Siberia to China)[266].
Propagation
Seed - sow in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn or in the spring. It normally germinates in 1 - 3 months at 10°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. Division in spring or autumn[111, 238]. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Hypericum androsaemumTutsan, Sweet-amber, St. Johnswort01
Hypericum ascyronGreat Saint John's Wort12
Hypericum attenuatum 10
Hypericum bellum 01
Hypericum calycinumRose Of Sharon, Aaron's beard, Creeping Aron's Beard St. Johnswort00
Hypericum erectum 11
Hypericum forrestii 00
Hypericum hypericoidesSt. Andrews Cross02
Hypericum japonicumMatted St. John's Wort02
Hypericum kamtschaticum 10
Hypericum monogynum 02
Hypericum patulumGoldencup St. Johnswort01
Hypericum sampsonii 12
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Expert comment
 
Author
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Botanical References
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Links / References
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Readers comment
 
Elizabeth H.
Steve Harris Fri Jul 16 23:51:31 2004
About the leaf smell: I think it's a wonderful smell - especially good on a sunny day. It's a rich warm smell. Many of the houses along our street in Cheltenham UK have it in their front gardens. I think it would be ripped out if people found it unpleasant.
Elizabeth H.
Martin Sun Jan 7 2007
I believe that the smell of this plant is quite pleasant, an almost "buttery" smell.
Elizabeth H.
henry fletcher Fri Jun 6 2008
I have just returned from Finland's national park in the archipelago, where I was introduced to this wonderful plant - it's pungent smell under the morning dew promised wholesome herbal goodness. I dried some sprigs in the sun and made a refreshing, dry tea.
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Subject : Hypericum perforatum  

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