St. John's Wort
What is it?
Scientifically known as Hypericum perforatum, St John's wort is a common wildflower with vivid yellow flowers edged with tiny black beads. When rubbed, the plant releases a red pigment, containing hypericin, identified as a pharmacologically active chemical.
Where is it from?
The name "St. John's wort" comes from Christian folklore. The plant's red spots are said to symbolize the blood spilled by St. John the Baptist when he was beheaded. "Wort" simply means "plant" in Old English. The plant comes from Germany, Spain and Central Europe and blooms around June 24, the traditional birthday of John the Baptist.
What is it used for?
Studies have shown that St. John's Wort is used for treating mild to moderate depression. It does not appear to be effective for more severe depression or bipolar disorder. It is also used during periods of anxiousness or stress to promote relaxation.