St. John's Wort | Hypericum perforatum
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The name “St. John’s Wort” comes from the original flowering and harvesting that is done on June 24, St. John’s day. The plants are hung over religious images in the house, to keep out the evil. The word hypericum comes from “hyper” (=above) and “eikon”=(picture). In Dutch is it also called “jaag den duvel”, which means something like ‘scare away the devil’. This because of its use to fight witchery, magic and other dangers.
The Hypericum Perforatum is a very flowery plant, that is native to parts of Europe and Asia. The weed is quite invasive, and therefore it can be found in most of the continents by now. The plant has been medically used over the world for thousands of years, mainly because of its uplifting effects and its use as an antidepressant. It is supposed to release tension and give you a more positive outlook on life and yourself.
Use 1-2 teaspoons per cup of tea. Let it steep for 15 minutes. Drink maximum 3 cups a day.
Warning! The plant can have negative (side) effects when combined with other medication. As they write on the website of Herbs of the Gods:
“St. John’s wort can negatively influence the effect of certain types of medication. St. John’s wort enhances the effect of the liver enzyme cytochrome P450. This causes some medicines to be broken down faster, making them less effective. When combining St. John’s wort with medication you are advised to consult your physician or your thrombosis prevention unit for information whether the combination can lead to such an interaction. This is the case not only if you want to start combining St. John’s wort, but also when you want to stop combining St. John’s wort with one of the types of medicine listed below:
- immune system inhibitors, for instance against transplant rejections and auto-immune diseases: cyclosporine
- anticoagulants of the coumarine type, such as acenocoumarol (Sintrom etc.) and phenprocoumon (Marcumar etc.)
- Anticonvulsants: phenobarbital and phenytoine
- bronchodilators: theophylline
- cardiac glycosides for heart defects and heart rhythm disturbances: digoxin
- HIV-virus inhibitors: indinavir
- St. John’s wort can also influence the effect of SSRI-type antidepressants. Combining them is not recommended.
An incidental case of break through bleeding has been observed with the simultaneous use of St. John’s wort and certain types of the birth control pill (the combination of ethinyloestradiol and desogestrel, also known as sub-50). When a break through bleeding occurs, it may result in reduced protection against pregnancy.” [link: http://herbsofthegods.nl/st-johns-wort/ ]
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