5 Healing Benefits of St John's Wort

This yellow flower is full of natural healing.

This medicinal herb may help boost your mood.

(Olena Rudo / Shutterstock.com)

Mother nature offers an abundance of nurturing plants and herbs that can do wonders for your physical and mental health. One healing herb is Hypericum perforatum or St John's wort — a flowering yellow plant — that supports a healthy body and mind. 

The herb grows wild in Europe and gets its name because it frequently blooms on the birthday of St John the Baptist, according to WebMD. It is available as a supplement in teas, pills, and as a topical treatment that is made from the flowers and leaves. Learn how you can reap these five healing benefits of Saint John's wort.

Helps soothe inflammation
Got a nasty burn or a minor wound? St John's wort could help you to heal. According to a study published in  Planta Medicine,  applying the plant in oil form to cuts, burns, or ulcers may aid healing as it’s jam-packed with antibacterial, antioxidant, and antiviral properties. Due to the nature of this plant, when applied to the skin, it may help fight against inflammation. So next time you spend too much time in the sun or injure your skin why not try this natural healing method?

Could relieve PMS pain
Many women experience intense cramps and pains in the lead up to their menstrual cycle, otherwise known as PMS. Research published in BMC complementary and alternative medicine studied natural methods to soothe PMS and menstrual pains. St John's wort, one of the herbs used in the study, showed improvement in the pain levels and symptoms of the participants when compared to other herbal remedies.

May help reduce anxiety
Over 40 million adults in the US suffer, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.  As the world becomes a more health-conscious place and holistic treatments are on the rise, St John's wort has been in a higher demand as a potential treatment for anxiety.

Researchers from Nutrition Journal studied the herb as a way of  alleviating anxiety. They suggested that it has potential for the treatment of anxiety and anxiety-related disorders while presenting minimum side effects compared to medications that are commonly used. 

Aids in enhancing sleep quality 
All people are born with GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid), a naturally occurring amino acid that works as a neurotransmitter in the brain. GABA induces natural calming effects on the mind and body, according to a study published in the journal Nature.The researchers found that St John's wort stimulates the GABA receptor which boosts these sleep-inducing chemicals. In turn, this may help you relax and have a peaceful night's sleep. In fact, this herb has been used for centuries to treat a number of disorders including insomnia

Could Help Balance Mood
For those who suffer from mild to moderate depression, you may benefit from choosing St John's wort as a natural way to help regulate your mood, according to WebMD. That’s because it contains hypericin and hyperforin which help to boost serotonin; the happy hormone.

A review of research suggests that since people who are depressed  often have lower levels of serotonin, taking St John's wort could boost activity in the brain to produce this hormone and help regulate mood.

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