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Hypericum perforatum / St. Johns wort herb. Has traditionally been used for mild to moderate depression. It is thus an anti- depressant. There have been a number of scare stories which have been spread about this herb, such as it interfering with the pill the implication being that if you take them concurrently the Hypericum will render the pill ineffective. The cited reference for this story has a laughably small cohort (12) involved. In clinical trials, the larger the number of participants (the cohort), the more statistically relevant they are. These figures are usually counted in at least hundreds if not thousands and for larger studies tens if not hundreds of thousands, and often the trial may run over decades. The test that is cited had 12 participants (none of whom fell pregnant, just a change in hormone level was noted) and thus is statistically totally insignificant. Yet there has grown this propaganda that St Johns wort will mean that the pill does not work. This is not true. If you are taking antidepressant drugs then tell your health care provider if you are or intend to take St John’s wort. What is true is that if you are taking other medications it is much better to go and see a herbalist and get their professional help and advice if you are suffering from disease. Especially if you are wanting to take herbal medicines alongside orthodox drugs, with the potential view of trying to stop the drugs, say if you are getting side effects for instance. The common name derives from either the propensity of this plant to flower on or around St Johns day June 24th, or because the red colour of the oil was reminiscent of St Johns blood. The name Hypericum comes from the Greek and means Over an apparition which refers to the belief that this herb is so noxious to evil spirits that one whiff will make them fly away. So the remit for use is much greater than merely as an antidepressant. The oil is very useful for soothing grazes and skin abrasions, and can be combined with Marigold in a cream.
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