St. John’s Wort Essential Oil

Hypericum perforatum

Known Uses

The best-known effect of St. John’s Wort is as an anti-depressant. It contains a combination of antidepressant chemicals that inhibit or delay the reuptake of certain neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, giving the body energy and alleviating depression. It is now a natural solution that doctors and psychiatrists often prescribe to their patients since its health benefits have been verified by science. St. John’s Wort is used to help people suffering from anxiety and mood swings as well. It can also be very helpful in easing the withdrawal symptoms from quitting cigarettes, alcohol, or other addictive substances.

St. John’s Wort helps regulate hormonal balance in the body. It is able to provide relief from the effects of stress such as sleeplessness, irritability, and chronic fatigue. This can improve overall health and cognitive function, since stress hormones can permanently alter various organ systems. By regulating hormones, it works positively against pre-menstrual syndrome and the negative symptoms of menopause. St. John’s Wort has been shown to reduce the effects of Hypothyroidism and help the thyroid gland produce normal levels of hormones.

The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds in St. John’s Wort can ease the pain of arthritis, gout, joint discomfort, and muscle aches. It helps ease inflammation on the skin and in the gut, and also lowers inflammation in the cardiovascular system, helping to lower blood pressure. A topical solution of St. John’s Wort can speed the healing process of burns and bruises by stimulating circulation of oxygenated blood so that repairs can begin.

And, last but not least, ongoing research has shown a definite correlation between the prevention and treatment of leukemia with consistent use of St. John’s Wort supplements.


St. John’s Wort is native to Europe, West Asia, North Africa, Madeira and the Azores, and is now natural in North America and Australia. In the western United States, St. John’s Wort is especially prevalent in northern California and southern Oregon. Because of the known photosensitizing properties of the plant, which can be toxic to cows and sheep, it has been considered a pest in some places. Today, American herbalists still use St. John’s Wort for many of the same conditions for which it has been recommended throughout the ages. In Europe, it is often prescribed by medical doctors to treat burns, ulcers and nervous disorders. Scientific studies have been performed in the laboratory and clinic to support these uses. It has a documented history of continuous use for over 2,000 years.


The most common negative effects of St. John’s Wort are dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and confusion. This only occurs in a small percentage of people, although other restrictions include people with diagnosed bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The intense hormonal reactions of St. John’s Wort can also be a dangerous mix with a variety of medications. It is essential to discuss your current medications and conditions with a physician before adding St. John’s Wort to your regular supplement regimen.

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