St John’s Wort Oil – The miraculous balsam

In 2015, Hypericus (Hypericum Perforatum) commonly known as “Saint John’s wort”, was awarded the title of “medicinal plant of the year” by the study group for historical evolution of medicinal plants of the University of Würzburg.

Hypericus Oil, commonly known as “St John’s wort oil”, “balsam oil” or simply “balsam”,is not very popular even today. It can provide us with wonders if kept in our home’s medicine cabinet. It is indicated for ingestion through the mouth to treat a series of ailments and also for external application, for which, its number of uses range from skin care, compresses and rubbing for various diseases, burns, wounds or even gum problems.

It is important to know that St John’s Wort Oil is an oil that anyone can produce using only easy and simple techniques by soaking its leaves. The correct term for the oil that is produced through the soaking of the leaves is “infusion”. It should not be confused with essential oils that are made with time- consuming procedures such as grinding, extraction or distillation. However, Hypericus leaves do contain an amount of (distillable) essential oil.

The distilled essential oil of the Hypericus does not contain hypericin, in other words it not red anymore, but it keeps a good portion of the healing properties of the hypericus. It is also suitable for use as an essence for devices that burn essential oils in aromatherapy. In the texts that follow we will talk exclusively about the infusion, the St John’s Wort Oil, with its characteristic red color that can be easily made out of fresh hypericus leaves and cold- pressed olive oil.

The St John’s Wort Oil can be used in all cases where we use infusions, brews or homeopathic products: When ingested orally, the oil acts as an anti- depressant and it stimulates the gull and the liver. Its range of uses also extends to:

  • stimulating the heart and the circulatory system
  • fighting sensitivity in weather change
  • repairing the stomach and the intestines after an infection or inflammation
  • soothing menstruation pain

Applied externally, the oil has been proven a valuable ally for massages, as an additive for body or hair shampoo, as an antiseptic and also as a compress for:

  • taking care of sensitive, dirty or irritated skin
  • reducing the oiliness in the hair
  • treating wounds while stopping the appearance of big outward scars
  • protecting against burns from the sun or other sources
  • treating all kinds of bone dislocation, open and closed wounds, muscle pain, nerve pain.

Its action has been scientifically proven.

The healing properties of the St John’s Wort Oil have been established through mentions in common practise and they have also been confirmed by modern scientific studies.

A Short term (or in small doses) treatment with Hypericus products (infusion or oil) for the skin is completely safe as far as light sensitivity is considered as we know from experience. This was confirmed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel in 2012 (Washington ,USA)

A supplementary research that followed in 2014 by the same organization (Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel) substantiates that St John’s Wort Oil is harmless and beneficial, especially as far as its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties are considered.

St John’s Wort Oil for wounds, burns and scars

St John’s Wort Oil has a long tradition in treating wounds. In general, its use relieves pain from wounds of any kind and even burns. St John’s Wort Oil has strong antibacterial properties, so it is suitable for first aid in wounds.

Its styptic action not only stops small cases of blood loss from wounds and the veins, but it also prevents the wound from creating puss. Hypericus is effective against scars and prevents the development of scabs. Hypericus is indicated for use after surgery for the targeted treatment of wounds where it accelerates healing and makes cuts and scars disappear almost completely.

One of the most common fields of application for Hypericus is the treatment of burns: The intense pain soon retreats. The burnt areas of the skin are regenerated , as proven, almost three times faster than any other treatment for burns, leaving little to no marks on the skin itself. No matter how careful adults are, small children tend to get into these actions all the time. It is not unheard of a small child to accidentally throw a cooking pot full of boiling water on them. In such cases St John’s Wort Oil is an invaluable ally and it should be in every home’s medicine cabinet, because this way we can provide first aid quickly and effectively.

Bruises and wounds in parts of the body where a lot of nerves pass through, for example the fingertips, are usually very painful: In such cases, St John’s Wort Oil is literally the best thing that you can use for first aid since it soothes the pain and bring relaxation. This is the reason why it has earned the nickname “Arnica for the nerves”.

Anti- inflammatory action in wounds and trauma

The reason why St John’s Wort Oil can be used without worry in open wounds is that it has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties: These properties prevent infection and the formation of abscesses which would literally poison the body and slow down the healing procedure. This way, we can prevent the use of antibiotics and also prevent the forming of ugly scars.

St John’s Wort Oil has also been proven a valuable ally in mouth surgery and tooth extraction. Here, it can be taken orally, before and after the procedure, to avoid intense pain, prevent scarring and accelerate healing.

Preventive skin care during pregnancy

Midwives suggest the use of St John’s Wort Oil for the preparation phase of labor: If we massage thoroughly the areas of the vagina and the perineum the skin strengthens and it gains elasticity . In many cases, this prevents the abortion of the perneum during labor. Even if the doctor has to proceed to making a cut in the perineum, healing will be much faster.

St John’s Wort Oil soothes tummy aches and stomach pain

Both the external and internal use of St John’s Wort Oil can help with pain and irritation in the gastrointestinal system. The anti-inflammatory and beneficial action of the St John’s Wort Oil can be made visible during cases of irritated mucous membranes in the stomach and the intestines: In this case, the oil must be ingested orally. The antibacterial properties of the herb help with treating sepsis in the intestines and an imbalanced intestinal flora. St John’s Wort Oil also helps with soothing the pain and irritation of the liver and the gull or in gastritis. Also, massaging the area around the navel can help with treating painful tummy aches.

A bad psychological state helps in making the symptoms of a disease stronger or in some cases it manifests through body symptoms such as an irritable intestine, gastritis and other painful digestion problems. The hypericus infusion and the St John’s Wort Oil help in both relieving from the immediate pain and restoring , long term, the balance of body and soul by stabilizing our mental state in our daily lives.

St John’s Wort Oil as an ally against ageing and skin degradation.

The leaf of the Hypericus that is full of stigmata contains ingredients that have healing,tightening and balancing effects on the skin. Even though the herb of the Hypericus as an oil infusion increases the light sensitivity of the skin, as a beauty product it can tackle skin degradation – especially during pregnancy or labor-, lentils or brown spots.

Moreover, anyone who suffers from black circles below their eyes can pout St John’s Wort Oil on the area to provide it with a more fresh and shiny look, since the skin in this area becomes brighter.

St John’s Wort Oil in skin care and against various skin diseases

St John’s Wort Oil is especially indicated for face- care and skin care in general, but also for the effective treatment of various skin diseases.

  • In the case of irritation or a local inflammation the skin reacts by intensively turning red. A prime example of this is insect bites. St John’s Wort Oil can tackle the red skin and revert it back to normal.
  • Herpes and shingles: The anti- inflammatory and anti- microbial properties of the Hypericus take effect when it is applied lightly on the afflicted areas of the skin.
  • Rashes and psoriasis can also see improvement after the use of Hypericus.
  • Acne: Zits with pus are treated faster and without leaving scars. Even in an optimal scar treatment, St John’s Wort Oil helps the skin become clear and smooth.

St John’s wort oil for neurodermatitis

The oil of the Hypericus as an ally against neurodermatitis is something that only the “initiated” in botanology know about: Experience has shown that many patients achieve great relief from the acute pain of neurodermatitis. Some product creators offer products made especially for skin care during neurodermatitis; they remove hypericin from these products so that they won’t raise the skin’s sensitivity to light. In the infusion that anyone can make in their home though, using hypericus, the plant’s beneficial substances are all used. It helps with “breaking” the circle of constant itchiness , the skin’s hypersensitivity to light and foily and dry skin.

Children and infants especially are in need of treating the ailments of neurodermatitis. The reason is that the young patients suffer a lot and cannot resist the urge to constantly scratch the itchiness.

St John’s Wort Oil soothes the pain in nerves, muscles and joints

Who hasn’t suffered from sciatica, fractures or joint dislocations in the past? Ailments that include pain in the nerves, such as neuralgia or shingles, see great improvement when treated with compresses or careful soaking of St John’s Wort Oil, depending on the type of symptoms.

Pain in the muscles and joints, rheumatic pain and bone rigidity and even pain in the shoulders or
the nape can be treated with St John’s Wort Oil. Mobility reverts back to normal faster and the pain due to inflamed or irritated nerves retreat considerably.

The intense heating action of theSt John’s Wort Oil in affected areas is beneficial and relaxing. Even migraines and tension cephalalgia have been proven to retreat after soaking the nape in St John’s Wort Oil regularly. The heating property of the oil can also be used for chronic cold feet and belly ache. Furthermore, if we add lavender oil we can reinforce the heating effect.

The St John’s Wort Oil can also be used for the hair

St John’s Wort Oil, especially the ones that use olive oil and almond oil as a basis has incredible results when used as a beauty product for both the skin and hair. The recipe is quite simple: A few drops of St John’s Wort Oil are mixed with a common shampoo and used as a hair mask. This strengthens the hair from root to tip and brightens their natural coloration. Brown hair receives a brighter shine with a light red accent.

By using St John’s Wort Oil to massage the hairy area of the head we achieve a balancing result: The production of smegma returns to normal levels, the hair produces less oil and they look crisply for more days.

Nerve tonic

St John’s Wort Oil can not only unveil its powers as an orally ingested infusion but it also offers the anti depressing, sedative and tonic effects of its components through the skin.

Due to the fact that a series of bodily ailments can be the consequence of a great psychological burden or depression, the St John’s Wort Oil treats many of those “evils” at their root.For example, sciatica and lumbago are usually the direct result of increased tension. The same is also true for various types of headaches and migraines. However, for daily use, it is important for someone to take into consideration the possible interactions with other medicine and the increased light sensitivity of the skin.

St John’s Wort Oil for infants

It is usually suggested that hypericus products should be administered to children over 12 years of age. Albeit, there are no well- supported arguments against their use on younger children. For once, no one would expose an infant to direct, bright sunlight anyway. That is because infant skin has a defensive mechanism against ultraviolet radiation after the third year of age. Furthermore, St John’s Wort Oil acts fast and effectively in treating usual infant ailments such as:

  • tummy aches , such as the ones in the first trimester,
  • small injuries,
  • skin irritated by the diaper (diaper dermatitis), inflammations that cause itching or pain and boils
  • the typical symptoms of neurodermatitis

So much so that it prevails over and other kind of treatment and the little patients are immediately relieved. The St John’s Wort Oil can also be used with equal potency for a relaxing and soothing massage for belly bloating or trouble sleeping and also for oral ingestion (few drops).

What are the side effects?

Slight side effects can be observed with the use of St John’s Wort Oil but they are rare. The side effects of the interaction with a series of different medicines are similar to those that can manifest during the consumption of a hypericus infusion or brew. Therefore, caution is advised for all patients that take , for example, Immunosuppressive, antihypertensive or anticoagulant drugs. In these cases, the effects of the St John’s Wort Oil are limited substantially. It can also reduce the effect of hormonal anti- contraceptives.

These kinds of reactions can occur only when there is a high and traceable amount of the acting substances in the blood for more than one or two weeks. In cases of any doubt, it is always better to consult your doctor.

Someone that doesn’t take other medication or someone that has been using St John’s Wort Oil only for a short time against strong pain has no reason to worry. Experience has shown that potential side effects are mild, they retreat immediately after stopping the consumption of the oil and they might not even appear during future use of the oil

Research on hypericus

There have been numerous studies and clinical trials for the use of hypericus to fight depression that confirm its effect. Below, we list some examples:

Professor Dr. Dr. med. Volker Faust from the task force for psychosocial health published an extensive article, in 1997, for the ever growing importance of the hypericus in the treatment of even severe forms of depression, which has been established by over 40 different researches. In his article, he also points out that the components that have therapeutic properties cannot work individually but need to be in tandem.

A research in 2004 from the general hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, USA(Fava) proved that hypericus products can be more effective than established drugs even in severe cases. The effects of the drug Fluoxetin were compared to the ones of hypericus. The research confirms that hypericus is more effective.

In 2014, at the University of Melbourne, Australia (Pirotta), researchers asked the question: Why do patients take hypericus products on their own initiative? Many positive experiences were confirmed after a thorough research. A recent study (October 2016) that was conducted in Israel about hypericus published the following:While pharmaceutical antidepressants limit the symptoms of depression they often create feelings of fatigue and dizziness, when patients that have been taking hypericus products claim the opposite. By taking hypericus they report imporovements in their ability to focus and perception making them much more able to cope with everyday challenges. Researchers (Ben-Eliezer, Yechiam) proved that hypericus can improve the learning ability of animals.

St John’s Wort Oil against restlessness in children

In Vienna, a team of experts looked into using plant based medicine for children that suffered from restlessness and stress due to a stressful depression. The research that was published in 2013 (Trompetter) proves that the St John’s Wort Oil had positive results. The sample that took part in the experiment had a total of 115 children aged 6 to 12. Most of these children have had symptoms for two years now. Almost 94% of the children of the children were totally free from these conditions and after the completion of the research they exhibited normal social behaviour, they were not depressed anymore and they didn’t show stress about school, tests are anything similar and they even had their difficulties sleeping lifted. There were no complications during the administering of the natural medicines from roots of valerian, hypericus and passion flower. A worthy mention as an alternative to administering psychoactive drugs to children.

St John’s Wort Oil during menopause

Feeling hot and other bodily symptoms similar to those of the premenstrual syndrome: Since ancient times, Hypericus has been an herb administered to women for menopause related problems. There are studies for this case too that prove that women who use hypericus products show great improvement with dealing with the symptoms and their quality of life improves.