St. Johns Wort
Ease anxiety, tension, neuralgia, seasonal affective disorder, and indeed, mild to moderate depression, nerve damage,
The traditional uses and benefits of St. John’s are numerous – this plant really is not just for depression! In fact St. John’s wort is known among herbalists as a wonderful herb for supporting and soothing the body in numerous ways! The five-petaled flowers are a lovely, vivid yellow that when crushed release a reddish purple oil. And when fresh St. John’s wort is made into an infused oil or tincture, the menstruum turns a beautiful red color. Another interesting feature of this plant is its leaves. When held up to the light of the sun, little dots of light shine through the leaves giving the appearance of tiny holes, hence the species name “perforatum.”
Many herbalist turn to St. John’s wort to help soothe and ease pain. Herbalist Mary Bove explains that “St. John’s wort is known for helping to diminish pain” both externally or internally (LaLuzerne, 2013). Specifically indicated for trauma and damage to the nervous system whether through injury or viral infection, St. John’s wort is the herbalist go-to for painful issues such as neuralgias, sciatica, Bell’s palsy, head and spine trauma, pinched nerves, after surgical and dental work, as well as injuries to any area that is rich in nerve endings (Winston, 2007; LaLuzerne, 2013; McIntyre, 1996).
St. John wort’s ability to help soothe nerves combined with its antiviral actions make this plant a wonderful ally for anyone dealing with the pain of shingles as well as herpes infections. In fact, herbalist Susun Weed explains that she finds St. John’s wort to be “one of the most effective antiviral plants I have ever worked with but especially focuses on the nerves” and therefore being particularly helpful when there is a “virus in the nerves” (LaLuzerne, 2013).
As an antispasmodic, St. John’s wort helps to relax muscles spasms including spasms in the lungs, colon, and reproductive tract. This helps to soothe the pain of digestive spasms and menstrual cramps as well as to ease spasmodic coughing. Also, St. John’s wort is wonderful to turn to when muscles are sore from over-exertion easing shoulder, neck, and back pain (LaLuzerne, 2013).