St John’s Wort

 St John’s Wort 

1 Hypericum perforatum


Some of which include Hypericin, pseudohypericin, hyperin, hyperforin, flavonoids, tannins

MOA inhibiting activity.  The phyto-substances responsible for this include quericitin, pseudohypericin and xanthones. Taken as a whole plant extract these substances do not pose the usual MAO inhibiting risk.

TCA –like activity.  In 1997 further studies revealed that Hypericum appeared also to act on the levels of norepinephrine and dopamine giving it tricyclic antidepressant characteristics.

SSRI- like activity may be attributed to the phtyo-chemical hypericin, xanthones and flavanoid amentoflavone.Sedative effects may be attributed to hyperin, biflavone and the amino acid gamma-amino butyric acid.


  • MOA inhibiting activity increases the level of seratonin in the brain. This accounts for feelings of contentment
  • Some active ingredients act on levels of dopamine levels in the brain. Responsible for movement and feelings of pleasure.
  • Other active ingredients have a calming effect. St John’s Wort has demonstrated antiviral activity.
  • Flavonoids are anti-inflammatory.
  • Astringent constituents may be used to address blood vessel integrity


  • May be regarded as a long-term treatment for depression improving a sense of contentment.
  • Raised seratonin levels may assist in cases of insomnia improving sleep patterns and quality.
  • May be used as a support while trying to quit habits like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, over eating etc
  • May be used to stimulate the immune system and liver to eliminate toxins from system.
  • May be used during recovery from injury by acting on substance P and the perception of pain
  • Some active ingredients in St John’s wort have antiviral properties
  • May help in treating compulsive eating disorder, assisting in weight loss.
  • May help in reducing pre-menstrual and menopausal symptoms
  • Research has found St John’s Wort to be helpful in treating Attention Deficit Disorder
  • St John’s Wort flowers infused in oil may be used topically for conditions like shingles as it acts on nerve endings


It is not fully understood how Hypericum treats depression but researchers are getting closer to some conclusive answers.

It is not recommended that Major Depressive Disorders, Dysthymic Disorders, Bipolar Disorders and Cyclothymic Disorders be treated with St John’s without professional advice. In addition to this there is still insufficient conclusive research findings on St Johns Wort efficacy is treating these serious biochemical illnesses.

It has been found that Hypericum does not have the side effect of conventional medicine due to the buffering effects of all the phyto-chemicals working in synergy

Note: Liquid extracts act more effectively than tablets because they are absorbed directly into the blood stream and do not  go through the digestive tract where there is some loss. It takes at least two weeks to kick in. (This is typical as with other allopathic antidepressants )


  • St John’s Wort may be used long term as part of a training regime for horses.
  • May assist with compulsive obsessive behaviour like crib biting, weaving wind-sucking etc
  • Helpful in addressing separation anxiety in horses.
  • For excessively nervous horses finding it hard to adjust to new surroundings


  • May be used for territorial behaviour in pets.
  • Compulsive obsessive behaviour in dogs.
  • Helpful in treating cats that urinate or spray indoors.
  • For excessively nervous animals finding it hard to adjust to new surroundings.


Do not exceed the dose without consultation with a practitioner familiar with herbal products. Do not use in conjunction with other medication.

St John’s Wort must not be Taken in combination with allopathic antidepressants, HRT  or the contraceptive pill until the current research  on its possible effect as a liver flush on allopathic medicines has been fully completed.


Disclaimer: Information in this article is not to be used in place of professional medical advice and expertise. For diagnosis and treatment always see your health professional. We recommend that either a qualified herbalist or your animal professional carry out diagnosis and subsequent treatment. Herbal remedies must not be given not be taken in conjunction with other medication with out consulting a medical professional.


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