The properties of St. John’s wort can help reduce anxiety in a natural way, as well as being an herbal-based alternative to avoid long-term use of medications.
Long-term use of benzodiazepines leads to increased physical and mental health problems. Benzodiazepines have sedative and hypnotic properties.
A 2009 study found that long-term use of benzodiazepines was significantly associated with an increased risk of dementia, leading researchers to state that long-term use of BZDs should be avoided in the elderly, who can be at a higher risk of developing dementia, in addition to other health problems.
Among a group of adults over 65 years of age, those who used benzodiazepines were 50 percent more likely to develop dementia over a 15-year period. Over time, these drugs can build up in your body, increasing the risk of an accidental overdose.
That is why natural treatments for certain cases of mental health can be used. Such is the case with St. John’s wort.
Properties of St. John’s wort
You can use St. John’s wort to relieve anxiety attacks, sleep better and achieve a restful rest, among many other benefits that this herb provides.
St. John’s wort against anxiety
A recent study, conducted by St. James’s University Hospital in Leeds, England, found that St. John’s wort was the only effective herbal supplement in treating anxiety and depression, in contrast to cat’s claw, ginseng, gingko biloba, liquid tonic and royal jelly.
St. John’s wort has been used for thousands of years, known for its ability to calm anxiety. In Germany, doctors prescribe this concentrated herb in place of conventional anxiety medications.
It is diuretic and anti-inflammatory
St. John’s wort has gained recognition among a large number of people. The name of the plant contributes to the fact that, the peak flowering season occurs around June 24, which is the day that John the Baptist’s birthday is celebrated. Many of the healing properties are attributed to this plant.
This herb also regulates metabolism and also has a diuretic and anti-inflammatory effect. It has an astringent and purifying effect. St. John’s wort also stimulates heart contractions and contributes to the restoration of nervous tissue. Today, new and unique medicinal properties are being discovered.
Hypericin substance in St. John’s wort in support of depression treatments
If you break its leaves and rub them on your fingers, it turns a reddish color. The color is attributed to a substance, contained in the black spots of the plant, called hypericin, which serves as a distinctive element of the herb.
Hypericin is used in the treatment of depression and diseases of the nervous system, on the other hand, it has no side effects. St. John’s wort is also used as an excellent anti-inflammatory, hemostatic and tonic remedy.
Components of St. John’s wort
- Essential oils: aromatic volatile substances with antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and some other properties.
- Some vitamins, ascorbic acid and rutin(strengthens blood vessels), carotene from vitamin A that is produced in the body. Protects from damage and aging of the skin, hair and nails. Vitamin PP or nicotinic acid, which is involved in exchange protein and carbohydrates.
- Tanning products (tannins): aromatic compounds with a characteristic flavor, with an astringent and antimicrobial action.
- Saponins: biologically active substances
- Traces of alkaloids
- Resinous substances: solid or semi-liquid organic compounds with a characteristic odor, according to their chemical composition that are similar to essential oils.
- Phytoncides: volatile substances with antimicrobial action.
The use of St. John’s wort in folk medicine
In folk medicine, St. John’s wort is used for gastritis (inflammation of the stomach), stomach and duodenal ulcers, colitis (inflammation of the large intestine), diarrhea, liver disease, bile diseases, heart failure, diseases of the kidneys and urinary tract.
- It can also be taken as a sedative for headaches and insomnia.
- It has imanine – a substance that inhibits the growth of bacteria. Due to the imanine, St. John’s wort possesses anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
- Bioflavonoids found in the herb are responsible for treating swollen veins.
- The extracts of the herb can be used for joint diseases of different origin– they reduce inflammation and swelling, and have an analgesic effect.
- External infusions and decoctions are used to treat wounds, burns, mastitis.
- In diseases of the throat and mucous membranes of the oral cavity. The extracts are used for the symptoms of menopause and premenstrual syndrome.
- John’s wort tea relaxes and stimulates the secretion of various glands, opens the appetite, launches the process of tissue regeneration, relieves premenstrual syndrome and symptoms of menopause.
- It can also be applied in the form of herbal teas, tinctures and extracts. In cosmetology, this herb is used for purifying oily skin, acne, tightening pores, hydrating and nourishing the skin.
Note: You have to be aware of the possible side effects. St. John’s wort can cause increased sensitivity to sunlight, dry mouth, dizziness, gastrointestinal symptoms, among others, for some people.
You should always consult with the specialist before taking this herb if you are with other treatments.