13 May Hypericum: properties, benefits, and usage
Hypericum (Hypericum perforatum L.), also known as St. John’s wort, is a medicinal plant. A plant used already in ancient Greece. Moreover, its use has not diminished over the centuries.
Do you want to know why this plant has been used since ancient Greece? Keep reading this article to get rid of doubts!
What is hypericum?
Hypericum is a perennial herbaceous plant that belongs to the family of the Guttiferae (Hypericaceae), similar to a shrub and grows wild in meadows, open forests or trails. The Hypericum measures between 25 and 90 centimeters and has some yellowish flowers with five petals and red stamens in the center. These flowers also have numerous dark holes that are seen when putting the leaves against the light and are the glands that contain the essential oil. They are very showy flowers and are grouped in clusters, they bloom in May and are collected from the end of June to September when the flowers are in full bloom. This plant is native to Europe but is also found in western and northern Asia, in northern Africa and in North America.
The scientific name of Hypericum is Hypericum perforatum L., a name that descends from the Greek hyperikon that refers to the properties attributed to the plant since they said it was capable of warding off evil spirits. And the word perforatum comes from the small holes found in its leaves when viewed against the light.
In ancient Greece, Dioscorides, one of the most famous doctors, already studied the benefits of St. John’s wort and medicinal uses and effects on people. Also, Hippocrates, considered the father of medicine, cites its use as an analgesic, healing and as an adequate treatment against anxiety. During the Ancient Age there was also the belief that the Hypericum served to ward off evil spirits.
During the Middle Ages, the belief that the hypericum makes the evil spirits and the apparitions flee was supported, being very popular in the fight against the devil. The hypericum was also hung from the roofs of houses to prevent fires. The name of St. John’s wort was originated because people thought that when gathered during the day of St. John, during the summer solstice, the hypericum had all its magical properties.
For centuries St. John’s wort is used as a medicinal plant, with remedies against inflammation of urinary and respiratory system. Moreover, the hypericum has natural antidepressant properties, which help improve the mood of the people who consume it. It is also a good healer.
In this article, you can discover all the properties of the St. John’s wort, the benefits, and the common uses.
Properties of hypericum
The medicinal properties of St. John’s wort are due to the composition of the plant and its active principles. St John’s wort contains flavonoids, essential oils, tannins, hypericin, and hyperforin.
Benefits of hypericum
St John’s wort is a medicinal plant studied from ancient Greece and used during antiquity as medicine for its properties. Hypericum has the following benefits:
Fight against anxiety and depression
The hypericum serves to treat disorders such as insomnia, nervousness, irritability, anxiety and weak depression. This plant stands out for its antidepressant power that increases the feeling of well-being and helps reduce aggressive behavior and improves the symptoms of depression such as insomnia, irritability or fatigue. Also, it does not cause addiction.
In modern medicine, St. John’s wort is used for to treat moderate or weak depressions. St John’s wort helps reduce the symptoms of depression and improves the mood of people. It also nourishes and regenerates the nervous system of people, making it stronger and more resistant. Different trials demonstrate the efficacy of St. John’s wort in antidepressant treatments such as the article published in the Life Sciences in 2004.
So far the benefits of hypericum in the fight against depression were attributed to hypericin and its derivatives. Nowadays it is believed that its complex chemical composition and possibly other elements have a direct effect; such as derivatives of foroglucinol (hyperforin), xanthones, flavonoids, etc.
Due to its properties, it helps those who are quitting smoking to calm the anxiety, nervousness, and addiction caused by nicotine.
Healing and burns
One of the main virtues of the St. John’s wort is its powerful healing and regenerating properties of the skin, due to its content in tannins and its essence. It is a beneficial plant to treat all kinds of skin problems, eczema, dermatitis, and is antiseptic.
It is also a plant that helps relieve pain and burning caused by burns.
Analgesic and anti-inflammatory
Muscle and joint pain
Muscle inflammation and joint pain can be treated with St. John’s wort due to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. St John’s wort helps eliminate and reduce joint or muscle pain due to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects ideal for any area, noticing an almost instantaneous improvement. It is indicated to reduce back pain and to treat overloaded muscles or bruises.
Hypericum is an ideal plant for all those people who suffer from migraines, migraine or headache, being a natural ally to this type of ailments.
It also helps relieve other neuralgia such as sciatica.
St John’s wort contains flavonoids that are effective in treating indigestion, heartburn or gastritis.
The same flavonoids help to treat varicose veins and reactivate circulation reducing varicose veins.
St John’s wort can be used to relieve the discomforts caused by the menopausal process and helps regulate smoke changes.
Uses of hypericum
Due to its multiple benefits, hypericum is commonly used in medical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industry.
When hypericum has healing and medical purposes it is used both internally and externally, varying depending on the sickness treated. Internally it serves as an antidepressant or to treat nervous system problems. It is usual to consume St. John’s wort in infusions or tincture, but nowadays you can also find the properties of hypericum in pills or capsules. Hypericum is used externally to treat wounds, abrasions or first-degree burns. Hypericum is usually applied in oils or infusions, giving a gentle massage or with compresses and gauze impregnated with infusion.
Hypericum is present in food. For example, a free-hypericin extract is common in alcoholic beverages. St John’s wort is present in teas, tinctures, and capsules.
Its properties make the hypericum a great asset in cosmetics and creams, as it helps to heal the skin. Cosmetics tend to use hypericum externally applying oils, creams and skin cleansers on the skin.
Due to the benefits it can bring to the skin, KLAU Beauty has two products that contain hypericum:
The hypericum used in KLAU products comes from organic crops. Since a key element to obtain a good product is the quality of the raw materials.
In order to preserve all the properties of hypericum during the elaboration of the KLAU cosmetics, the first thing that is done is to marinate the flowers of St. John’s wort in caprylic oil. After a long process, a caprylic oil is obtained that has all the properties of hypericum. Producing a caprylic oil with ideal properties to care for and heal the skin.
Discover all that hypericum can offer your skin with the products of the KLAU Beauty New Zealand edition. And remember, wake up your natural beauty!