Botanical Classification: Hypericum perforatum, Melissa officinalis, Lavendula vera (France), Helichrysum italicum (corscia)
Actions & Indications: Relaxing, mildly sedative, nerve damage, burns, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, analgesic, sleeplessness, restlessness, numbness due to nerve damage, nerve damage due to ischemia.
Early documentation of St. Johnsworts healing properties can be found in Gerard's Herbal (1633) where the herb is recommended as a treatment for wounds, burns, and for alleviating pain in the coccyx. Later, the British Herbalist Maude Grieve wrote of St. Johnswort as a treatment for nervous depression, for peaceful sleep, as a general resolvent, and for liver and heart conditions (1931).
Oil of Hypericum, also known as Oleum Hyperici (U.S. Pharmacopoeia, 1932) or Red Oil has been employed for decades as a treatment for bruises, sprains, nerve damage and pain, and for its nourishing and protective effect on the skin.
Essential Oil of Helichrysum italicum is an important treatment for wound healing, to help prevent scaring, acne, inflammation and joint pain. Lavender essential oil is anti-bacterial, calming and pH balancing.
Lemon balm has been used for centuries for its anti-viral and anti-depressent properties. Like SJW it has been extensively researched in Europe. In one controlled study it was found that lemon balm was five times more likely to be effective in the treatment of Herpes simplex labialis, with significantly faster healing time, it not only prevented the viral infection from spreading, it relieved blistering and pain more quickly and effectively than the placebo (Reuter & Schempe, 2010).
(Lakon Herbals Oil of Hypericum (compound) is available in a 25% concentration or 100%)
Administration/application: Gently massage oil into skin or add to bath. Apply as needed. See Contraindications and Cautions.
Lakon Herbals, LLC. c/Jayne Ollin MA/MS 2009/2015
General Discussion - History and Pharmacology
Ollin, J. (2009) Pharmacological Mechanism of Hypericum Perforatum:
Review of Recent Studies.
Want to read the full review?
Named for St. John the Baptist, the fresh, flowering tops of the herb St. Johnswort have been used for centuries if not longer, for a wide range of conditions, internally and externally. The components, when properly extracted, are both medicinal and nutritive.
There are many compounds and constituents in St. Johnswort that are responsible for the broad range of uses. The fresh flowering tops are high in plant chemicals that hasten the recovery of tissue that has been burned, either by the sun or by radiation. Over my thirty years as a practicing herbalist I have lost count of the testimonials from people who have used oil of St. Johnswort after radiation, whose physicians have told them that their skin healed remarkably well and far better than expected. Clinical studies conducted in Europe have shown that the key constituents responsible for this action are the anti-oxidant bioflavonoids found in abundance in certain parts of the plant at key stages of the flowering, fruit and seed cycle. Research has shown that antioxidant bioflavonoids contribute to skin protection from UV radiation, prevent sunburn, and some skin cancer; confirming the link between the sun protective properties of common products such as green and black tea, coffee, fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants.
St. Johnswort is most renowned as a remedy for nervous tension and nerve damage. Clinical research conducted in Europe over the last two decades supports the historical use of St. Johnswort's ability to promote healing of damaged nerve cells, to promote healing of the myelin sheath and balance intracellular sodium. In addition, key constituents in SJW support the liver in ridding the body of toxins that can contribute to certain forms of depression and anxiety which would also explain its reputation as an immunostimulant, indirectly clearing the body of toxins that weaken the immune system. These same components are responsible for St. Johnswort's contra-indicated status when taking pharmaceutical drugs, as it promotes the breakdown of certain chemical structures, rendering those medications in-effective.
In essence, the constituents in St. Johnswort are believed to provide the human body with key nutrients; essential building blocks for amino acids vital for restoring nerve endings, as well, have a balancing effect on intracellular sodium which plays a key role in neurotransmitter activity (Gobbi et al, 1999; Chatteree et al. 2001; Buchholzer et al., 2002, qtd. in Mennini et al., 2006), (Singer et al., 1999, qtd. in Mennini et al, 2006).
As well, the plant has shown to be anti-viral and antibacterial for use in skin care and also when taken internally. Further studies are showing positive results using SJW in the treatment of acne and atopic dermatitis (Reuter & Schempe, 2012). Researchers believe that the metabolite hyperforin is responsible for this mode of action. Hyperforin is also believed to be highly effective against a panel of Gram-positive bacteria, including multi-resistant S. aureus strains (Reuter & Schempe).
In the United States St. Johnswort has received mixed reviews for its over use as a treatment for anxiety and depression. My experience with these conditions is such that anxiety and depression are complicated and may be biological or psychological, or a combination of both. When the condition has damaged the nerves or led to a depletion of essential nutrients in the body, herbs that are high in nutritive components such as St. Johnswort, can be very helpful, supporting the body in its repair of damaged nerves and supplying the nervous system with nutrients needed to restore it, such as hyperforin which is analogous to the endogenous (made in the body) amino acid homotaurine, an essential element for a healthy nervous system. St. Johnswort could be a useful adjunct to therapies that can more directly address anxiety and depression that has emotional, psychological or situational roots.
Speaking from personal and professional experience, a high quality infusion of SJW oil prepared in accordance with European Standards, which is how Lakon Herbals Oil of St. Johnswort has been formulated, is efficacious in allaying the damaging effects of the sun, for joint and nerve pain due to physical trauma, such as nerve pain caused by a fall. Gerard (1633) noted oil of SJW as effectively ameliorating lower back pain, and pain in the cocyx, sciatica, and to promote deep and restful sleep.
Lakon Herbals oil of St. Johnswort has been prepared according to European standards since we began offering this oil in 1988, from the harvest (time of day, flower, seed and fruit cycle) to infusion, careful attention has been given to preparation of an oil that may not have the classic pure red hue of many SJW oils, which are made only from the flowers, but an oil that contains the full range of biologically active nutritive and medicinal components, producing an oil that is slightly brownish due to the inclusion of fresh leaf and fruit. I.e., the brownish/red hue of our oil is due to the inclusion of the ariel parts from flower to seed, infused within an hour of harvest into the oil medium. Our formula is a blend of the whole, fresh flowering tops of Hypericum perforatum and fresh Lemon Balm, essential oils of Lavender and Helichrysum.
Lakon Herbals Oil of Hypericum Ingredients: Prepared in a base of organic virgin olive oil, freshly harvested St. Johnswort, Lemon Balm, Lavender and essential oils of Lavender and Helichrysum.
CONTRAINDICATIONS & CAUTIONS
Chronic, severe depression, prominent anxiety, nerve damage, TBI (traumatic brain injury), burns, are serious mental and physical health conditions. If you experiencing any of these conditions, seek help from a qualified mental, physical health care professional. This information is not intended to replace medical advice. Clinical studies have shown that SJW can be highly effective as a mono-therapy, as it has an encouraging safety profile. Having said that, certain drug interactions have been reported, and it is believed that interactions may be attributed to the pharmacologically active hyperforin, when taken with SSRI's. Other studies have indicated that SJW activates blood cleansing enzymes therefore when taken with some oral contraceptives, and some anti-cancer drugs it can render these compounds ineffective. Please seek medical advice prior to using SJW formulas when taking other medication or when experiencing severe depression accompanied by suicidal tendencies, acute anger or rage, or for post-operatative treatment.
"Dear Lakon Herbals…I found the Hypericum Massage so soothing as
part of my post mastectomy healing process – still feel its value
to injured nerves a year and a half later". ... B.M., Vermont
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