A yellow flowery herb, St John Wort is known as such because it is a plant that blooms fully usually on the 24th of June, the day celebrated as the birthday of John the Baptist. Tea brewed using this herb has a slightly sweet and bitter taste and has lots of wonderful benefits for its users. In fact, according to traditional folk medicine, it is a plant with a cure for just about any disease! Often known as happy tea due to its ability to combat symptoms of depression, anxiety and feeling dull. Just the perfect drink to keep winter blues at bay.
It is a great remedy for mild forms of depression and various studies (ranging in thousands!) and clinical trials have been performed to assess its usefulness as an antidepressant. In a comparative clinical trial it was found that St John Wort was as effective as antidepressant drugs such as Prozac and Celexa. In fact according to the American Journal of Natural Medicine, physicians in Germany prescribe St. John’s Wort about 20 times more often than Prozac, a mainstream antidepressant.
The active ingredients, phytonutrient hypericin and hyperforin, are mainly to be attributed for the herb’s ability to combat depression and its symptoms. Studies have actually proven that not only is St John Wort equally as effective as traditional antidepressants it has fewer side effects like nausea, diarrhea and insomnia in comparison. In fact, St John Wort has proven to be quite useful in helping patients with insomnia, which is one of the symptoms of depression. OCD and symptoms of PMS are also proven to be treated using St John Wort tea.
The herb is also packed with strong antibacterial components and is a natural antiseptic. Mainly due to the antibacterial and antiseptic properties, this herb has been used over the years to heal all kinds of wounds, burns, cuts, and even hemorrhoids. It is also a great remedy for stomach ache, pain in the liver, diarrhea and the intestinal parasites that cause it.
With winter just around the corner, peaking its sneaky head in the chilly night time breeze, it’s only natural to be SAD (pun intended). Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression caused due to lack of sunlight during the winter months. The most effective treatment for SAD is phototherapy (in other words to spend as much time possible in the sun during winter), using St John Wort tea as a supplement treatment has proven to work wonders. Not only that, it also helps protect against harmful and excessive radiations from the sun.
During winter, the skin often gets dry, chapped and flaky. Regular intake of St John Wort tea can help in keeping skin healthy and prevent it from getting dried out, becoming sensitive and damaged. St John Wort herb can also be used in cooking. When it is used as an oil, it brings with itself calming and soothing effects.
This herb is often combined with others to enhance its properties and maximize the benefits this herb can provide to the body. For example, St. John’s Wort, combined with milky oats and passionflower is a great remedy for anxiety. Combined with hops and valerian it helps to ease insomnia, ensuring a good night’s sleep. And it works beautifully with chamomile and rose to calm down and relax small children going through an emotional upheaval.
To conclude, St John Wort tea is just about the perfect drink for winter to provide you an instant boost of energy and fill your dull, dark and depressed winter evenings with just the right amount of happiness by uplifting your mood.
However, a word of caution is in effect; while St John Wort is in fact beneficial and effective in treating mild forms of anxiety and depression, in case of clinical anxiety and suicidal depression it is important to consult your psychiatrist and seek support from family and friends. Trying to self-medicate in such a case is not advisable under any circumstances.