Curcuma longa

turmeric-info0
HowStuffWorks. (2014). Tumeric. Retrieved from: http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/botany/turmeric-info.htm

Turmeric-Root-and-Powder-1024x666
Christie, D. (2014). Top 5 Benefits of Tumeric. Retrieved from: http://www.harboursidefitness.com.au/blog-post/top-5-benefits-of-turmeric/

Botanical Name: Curcuma longa
Common name: Tumeric, Indian saffron, jianghuang (Chinese), shati (Sanskrit) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 900)
Family: Zingeberaceae (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 901)
Parts used: root and rhizome Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 901)

Quality: Pungent, bitter, astringent, heating (Pole, 2006, p. 282). In Ayurvedic medicine the herb is used to dry damp and move stagnation in the blood (Pole, 2006, p. 282).

History/Folklore: Native to India and South-East Asia, Tumeric has been recorded in medical texts dating back to 600BC (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 900).

Constituents: Essential oil (sesquiterpene ketones, zingiberene, phellandrene, sabinene, cineole and borneol); Yellow pigments “diarylheptanoids” or “curcuminoids” (incl. curcumin) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 901).

Yellow pigment curcumin has been shown to influence transcription factors, cytokines, growth factors, kinases and other enzymes (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 900).

Actions

  • Anti-inflammatory (Bone & Mills, 2013, pp. 902-903; Pole, 2006, p. 282)
  • Anti-platelet (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 903; Pole, 2006, p. 282)
  • Antioxidant (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 904; Pole, 2006, p. 282)
  • Hepatoprotective (Bone & Mills, 2013, pp. 904-905)
  • Nephroprotective (Bone & Mills, 2013, pp. 904-905)
  • Neuroprotective (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 905)
  • Cardioprotective and vasoprotective (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 905)
  • Hypolipidaemia (Bone & Mills, 2013, pp. 905-906)
  • Antibacterial (Pole, 2006, p. 282; Zorotchian Moghadamtousi, Abdul Kadir, Hassandarvish, Tajik, Abubakar & Zandi, 2014, p. 2)
  • Antimicrobial (Bone & Mills, 2013, pp. 906-907)
  • Antiparasitic (Bone & Mills, 2013, pp. 907)
  • Antiviral (Zorotchian Moghadamtousi et al., 2014, pp. 2-3)
  • Antiparasitic (Zorotchian Moghadamtousi et al., 2014, p. 2)
  • Antitumor (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 908)
  • Anti-depressant (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 909)
  • Radioprotective (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 910)
  • Antiallergic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 910)
  • Emmenagogue (Pole, 2006, p. 282)
  • Blood tonic (Pole, 2006, p. 282)
  • Carminative (Pole, 2006, p. 282)
  • Alterative (Pole, 2006, p. 282)
  • Vulunary (Pole, 2006, p. 282)
  • Anti-carcinogenic (Pole, 2006, p. 282)
  • TCM specific: blood and qi tonifier with analgesic properties (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 900).

Indications

  • Cancer prevention (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 907)
  • Cystic fibrosis (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 909)
  • HIV/AIDS (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 910)
    • One human trial exhibited an increase in CD4 and CD8 lymphocyte counts (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 910)
    • Another human trial showed relief of HIV-associated chronic diarrhoea (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 910)
  • Eye disorders (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 911)
  • Genetic diseases (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 911)
  • Alzehimer’s disease (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 916)
  • Skin conditions (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 916)
  • Candida (Zorotchian Moghadamtousi et al., 2014, p. 7)
  • Helicobacter pylori (Zorotchian Moghadamtousi et al., 2014, p. 8)

Dosage & Preparation:

  • Liquid extract (1:1): 5-14mL/day
  • 4g powdered tumeric mixed with water/1-2 day

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 901)

Cautions

  • Doses > 15g/day should not be administered long term or in conjunction with anti-platelet or anti-coagulant medication (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 917)
  • Individuals complaining of hair loss (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 917)
  • Women trying to conceive (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 917)
  • Pregnancy (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 918)

Contraindications

  • Biliary tract obstruction (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 917)
  • In Ayurvedic medicine the herb is contraindicated in high vāta and pitta (Pole, 2006, p. 283).
  • Acute jaundice and hepatitis (Pole, 2006, p. 283).

Combinations

  • For liver congestion: combine with kutki, bhumiamalaki and pippali (Pole, 2006, p. 283)
  • Small amounts of long/black pepper enhances anti-inflammatory activity of turmeric (Pole, 2006, p. 283)
  • For congestion of the lower abdomen and menstrual imbalance: combine with guggulu, mustaka and purnarnava (Pole, 2006, p. 283)

Interactions: Turmeric may potentiate effects of anti-platelet or anticoagulant medications (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 918).

Rosmarinus officinalis

Rosmarinus_officinalis_-_Köhler–s_Medizinal-Pflanzen-258

Image: Köhler, F. (1897). Rosmarinus officinalis. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosemary#mediaviewer/File:Rosmarinus_officinalis_-_K%C3%B6hler%E2%80%93s_Medizinal-Pflanzen-258.jpg

Botanical Name: Rosmarinus officinalis
Common name: Rosemary
Family: Lamiaceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577)
Parts used: Leaf, twig (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577)

Constituents:

  • Volatile oil (Borneol, camphene, camphor, cineole, limonene, linalool)
  • Flavonoids (apigenin, diosmentin, diosmin, luteolin)
  • Rosmarinic and other phenolic acid
  • Diterpenes (including carnosol, carnosolic acid and rosmariquinone)
  • Rosmaricine
  • Triterpenes (including ursolic acid and oleanolic acid)

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577)

 

Actions

  • Carminative (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577; Bone, 2003, p. 389)
  • Antispasmodic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577; Bone, 2003, p. 389; Braun & Cohen, 2005, p. 316)
  • Antidepressant (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577)
  • Rubefacient (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577)
  • Antimicrobial (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577; Bone, 2003, p. 389)
  • Emmenagogue (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577)
  • Hepatoprotective (Bone, 2003, p. 389; Braun & Cohen, 2005, p. 317)
  • Circulatory Stimulant (Bone, 2003, p. 389)
  • Antioxidant (Bone, 2003, p. 389; Braun & Cohen, 2005, p. 316)
  • Anti-inflammatory (Braun & Cohen, 2005, p. 316)

 

Indications

  • Increased mental concentration (Braun & Cohen, 2005, p. 317)
  • Stomach upset accompanied by psychological tension (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577)
  • Enhancing detoxification phase I and II of the liver (Bone, 2003, p. 389)
  • Flatulent dyspepsia (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577)
  • Headache or depression associated with debility (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577; Bone, 2003, p. 389)
  • Muscular pain (topical) (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577)
  • Sciatica (topical) (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577; Bone, 2003, p. 389)
  • Neuralgia (topical) (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577; Bone, 2003, p. 389)
  • Premature baldness (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577)
  • Alopecia (Braun & Cohen, 2005, p. 317)
  • Gastric headache (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 578)
  • Atherosclerosis prevention (Bone, 2003, p. 389)
  • Impaired hepatic and biliary function (Bone, 2003, p. 389)

 

Preparation & Dosage: Liquid extract (1:2): 2.0-4.5mL/day or 15-30mL/week (Bone, 2003, p. 390)

Cautions: Rosemary should not be taken with meals or iron supplements in individuals with iron deficiency due to the potential interference of iron absorption (Bone, 2003, p. 389)

Combinations

  • For alopecia: combine with thyme, lavender and cedarwood (Braun & Cohen, 2005, p. 317).
  • For depression: combine with Skullcap, Kola and Oats (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 229)

Glycyrrhiza glabra

3eb270
Mharr. (2008). PlantFiles: Picture #7 of Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra). Retrieved from: http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/186125/

Botanical Name: Glycyrrhiza glabra
Common name: Licorice, licorice root, yashimadhu (Sanskrit), ganco (Chinese), Kanzo (Japanese) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
Family: Leguminosae (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 650)
Parts used: Root and stolen (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 650)

History/Folklore: Use of licorice root dates back to 2500BC, found referenced on Assyrian clay and Egyptian papyri. The herb is also used extensively in both Auyrvedia and Traditional Chinese Medicine (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 650).

Constituents: Triterpenoid saponins (notably: glycyrrhizin); Glycyrrhetic acid; flavonoids (incl. liquiritigenin glycosides); chalchones (incl. isoliquiritin); isoflavonoids (incl. glabridin, glabrone and formononetin); sterols; coumrains; fatty acids; phenolics; and arabinogalactans (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 721)

 

Actions

  • Anti-inflammatory (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 651; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Anti-allergic (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 651)
  • Anti-ulcer (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 651)
  • Anti-viral (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 652; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Antibacterial (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 652)
  • Expectorant (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 652; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Anti-tussive (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 652; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Antioxidant (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 652)
  • Anticancer (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 652; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Neuroprotective (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 653)
  • Antidepressant (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 653)
  • Hepatoprotective (Braun & Cohen, 2010, pp. 653-654; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Anti-platelet (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 654)
  • Immunomodulatory (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 654)
  • Adrenal tonic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Demulcent (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Mild laxative (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Spasmolytic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)

 

Indications

  • Peptic ulcer (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 654; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Gastritis (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Dyspepsia (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 654)
  • Dermatitis (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 654)
  • Allergies (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 655)
  • Viral Infections (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 655)
  • Respiratory tract infection (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 655; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Chronic stress (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 655)
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 655)
  • Polycystic ovary disease (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 655; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 730)
  • Complications of diabeties (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 655)
  • Menopause (Braun & Cohen, 2010, pp. 655-656)
  • Weight loss (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 656)
  • Addison’s disease (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 656; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 730)
  • Hypercholesterolaemia (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 656)
  • Depression (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 656)
  • Urinary tract inflammation (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Adrenal insufficiency (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Viral Hepatitis (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 731)
  • HIV/AIDS (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 731)

 

Dosage & Preparation:

  • Decoction: 3-12g/day
  • Liquid extract (1:1): 2-6mL/day

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)

 

Cautions

  • Adverse reactions have been recorded at doses > 100-400mg/day (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 656)
  • High doses over a long period of time may lead to increased blood pressure, therefore caution should be taken in individuals with hypertension (Braun & Cohen, 2010, pp. 656-658)
  • Caution to be taken in men with a history of impotence, infertility or decreased libido due to potential ability to reduce testosterone (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 658)

 

Contraindications

  • Pregnancy (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 567; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 733)
  • Cholestatic liver disease and cirrhosis (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 733)
  • Hypokalaemia (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 733)
  • Severe kidney insufficiency (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 733)

 

Interactions:

  • Anti-hypertensives (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 657)
  • Digoxin (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 657)
  • May potentate effects of diuretics and laxatives (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 734)

Rhodiola rosea

ss-rhodiola2-300x300-1

Serenity Station. Rhodiola for Relaxation. (2013). Retrieved from: http://www.serenity-station.com/rhodiola-relaxation/

Botanical Name: Rhodiola rosea
Common name: Rhodiola, Golden root, Rose root, Arctic root (Huang, Perry, Ernst, 2011, p. 235)
Family: Crassulaceae (Huang et al., 2011, p. 235)
Parts used: Root (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 794)

History/Folklore: Found in high altitudes of Arctic regions, and throughout Europe and Asia (Huang et al., 2011, p. 235). The herb is used widely throughout Russia and Scandinavia (Huang et al., 2011, p. 235).

Constituents: Salidroside and aglycones; rhodiolo A, rosiridol and sachalinol; Rosavins; gossypectin-7-acid, rhodioflavonoside, gallic acid, trans-p-hydroycinnamic acid and p-tyrosol; cinnamic acid; hydroquinone (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 795)

Actions

  • Adaptogen (Hoffmann, 2003, p.484; Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 795)
  • Tonic (Huang et al., 2011, p. 235)
  • Antidepressant (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 796)
  • Immunomodulatory (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 796)
  • Antibacterial (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 796)
  • Cardioprotective (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 796)
  • Antioxidant (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 797)
  • Neuroprotective (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 797)
  • Cytoprotective (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 797)
  • Anticancer (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 797)

Acts as an adaptogen by modulating the stress response (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 795). Some ways it achieves this is by:

  • Increasing the bio-electrical activity of the brain (Huang et al., 2011, p. 235)
  • Inhibiting enzymes that degrade neurotransmitters such as dopamine, adrenaline, seratonin and achetlycholine (Huang et al., 2011, p. 235)
  • Preventing a rise in mediators for the stress response (Huang et al., 2011, p. 235)

 

Indications

  • Stress induced depression (Huang et al., 2011, p. 235; Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 798)
  • General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) (Huang et al., 2011, p. 235; Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 798)
  • Fatigue (Huang et al., 2011, p. 235; Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 798)
  • Anaemia (Huang et al., 2011, p. 235)
  • Impotence (Huang et al., 2011, p. 235)
  • Infections (incl. cold and flu) (Huang et al., 2011, p. 235)
  • Cancer (Huang et al., 2011, p. 235)
  • Nervous System disorders (Huang et al., 2011, p. 235)
  • Headache (Huang et al., 2011, p. 235)
  • Improves memory and attention span (Huang et al., 2011, p. 235)
  • Increases physical endurance (Huang et al., 2011, p. 235; Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 798)
  • Resistance to altitude sickness (Huang et al., 2011, p. 235)
  • Diabetes (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 799)

 

Dosage & Preparation:

Fluid extract (1:2): 20-49mL/week (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 799)

Cautions: No major risks are associated with Rhodiola (Huang et al., 2011, p. 242)

 

Contraindications: Contraindicated in bipolar disorder (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 799)

 

Interactions: Emit caution when used in conjunction with Adriamycin, Cyclophosphamide and antidepressants based on theoretical evidence (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 799)

Verbena officinalis

x123771866949c6168dbdeb5

Laboratorio d’erbe Sauro. (2014). Vervain – Verbena – (Verbena officinalis). Retrieved from: http://www.erboristeriasauro.it/vervain-verbena-verbena-officinalis-.html

Botanical Name: Verbena officinalis
Common name: Vervain (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 238)
Family: Verbenaceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 592)
Parts used: Ariel parts (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 592).

Constituents: Iridoids (verbenin, verbenalin, bastatoside); Essential oil; Mucilage (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 593)

 

Folklore: Used in Ayurvedic medicine as a contraceptive and in Italian folk medicine for rheumatic pain and wounds (Natural Standard, 2014).

 

Actions

  • Nervine tonic (Bone, 2003, p. 453; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 593)
  • Sedative (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 592)
  • Antispasmodic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 592)
  • Diaphoretic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 592; Bone, 2003, p. 453)
  • Hypotensive (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 592)
  • Galactagogue (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 592)
  • Hepatic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 592)
  • Astringent (Bone, 2003, p. 453)
  • Mild antidepressant (Bone, 2003, p. 453)

 

Indications

  • Depression (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 593; Bone, 2003, p. 453)
  • Early stages of fevers (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 593)
  • Caries and gum disease (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 593)
  • Infantile colic (in combination) (Bone, 2003, p. 453)
  • Anorexia (Bone, 2003, p. 453)
  • Gastrointestinal irritation (Bone, 2003, p. 453)
  • Jaundice (Bone, 2003, p. 453)
  • Epilepsy (Bone, 2003, p. 453)
  • Nervous breakdown (Bone, 2003, p. 453)
  • Promotion of lactation (Bone, 2003, p. 453)

 

Preparation & Dosage:

  • Infusion: 1-3 tsp dreid herb/1 cup boiling water/tds
  • Tincture: (1:5 in 40%) 2.5-5mL/tds

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 93)

 

Cautions & Contradictions: None known (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 593)

 

Combinations:

  • For depression may be combines with Skullcap, Oats and Lady’s slipper (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 238).
  • For infantile colic may be combined with lemon balm, chamomile, licorice and fennel (Bone, 2003, p. 453)

Melissa officinalis

Melissa-Officinalis

Phytome. (n.d.). Melissa officinalis. Retrieved from: http://phytoguide.com/2010/11/homey-bee-herb/melissa-officinalis/

Botanical Name: Melissa officinalis
Common name: Lemon balm
Family: Lameaceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 567)
Parts used: Aerial Parts (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 567)

Constituents: Volatile oil: neral and geranial; Caryophyllene oxide; Terpenes; Low concentration of flavonoids (incl. luteolin-7-glucoside and rhamazin); Polyphenolics (incl. protocatechuic acid, caffeic acid, rosmarinic acid and tannins); and Triterpenic acids (incl. ursolic and pomolic acids) (Hoffmann, 2003, 567)

 

Actions

  • Carminative (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 567)
  • Nervine (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 567)
  • Antispasmodic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 567; Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 646)
  • Antidepressant (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 567)
  • Diaphorietic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 567)
  • Antimicrobial (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 567)
  • Hepatic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 567)
  • Anxiolytic (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 646)
  • Sedative (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 646)
  • Antiviral (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 646)
  • Anti-inflammatory (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 646)
  • Analgesic (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 646)

 

Indications

  • Anxiety

A small double blind Randomised control trial (RCT) found Melissa to reduce stress. In combination Melissa has been studies for it’s effects on acute anxiety, while there shows potential for further research, results are inconclusive (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 647)

  • Herpes Simplex Virus

Clinical human trials demonstrated that topical application of Melissa officinalis has show effective in the treatment of symptoms associated with the herpes simplex virus (Gaby, 2006, p. 99).

  • Dementia

In one clinical trial Melissa topical application and aromatherapy was found to reduce symptoms associated with dementia in the elderly, notably aggregation (Ballard, O’Brian, Reichelt & Perry, 2002, Abstract).

  • Alzheimer’s disease

A radomised, double-blind control trial, found Melissa officinalis to reduce associated symptoms in individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, notably reducing agitation and improving cognition (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 647)

  • Insomnia
  • Gastro intestinal complains of nervous origin (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 647)

 

Preparation & Dosage:

  • Fresh herb: 1.5-4.5g/tds
  • Infusion: 1.5-4.5g/150mL hot water
  • Fluid extract (1:1): 6-12mL/day
  • Ointment: 700mg of ointment to be applied four times a day for herpes simplex infection (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 648).

 

Cautions & Contradictions: Contraindicated in Hypothyroidism (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 648)

 

Combinations:

  • For digestive complaints combine with Hops, Chamomile or Medowsweat.
  • For stress combine with Lavender and Lime Blossom (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 177)

Hypericum perforatum

Hypericum_perforatum_i01-1

Florafinder.com. (2012). 7/3/2012 · Yellow Trail from Pearl Hill State Park to Willard Brook State Park, Ashby, MA. Retrieved from: http://www.florafinder.com/Species/Hypericum_perforatum.php

St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

Thomé, O. W. (1885). Hypericum perforatum. Retrieved from: www.biolib.de.

Botanical Name: Hypericum perforatum
Common name: St. John’s Wort, Hypericum (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 826)
Family: Clusiaceae (Guttiferae) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 827)
Parts used: Dried Aerial Parts (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 827)

Constituents: Naphthodianthrones (incl. hypericin and pseudohypericin); Flavanoids (incl. biapigenin, quercetrin and rutin); Xanthones; Phenolics (incl. hyperforin and adhyperforin); Procyanidins; and Essential oil (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 827)

 

Actions:

  • Nervine
  • Anti-depressant
  • Vulnerary
  • Antiseptic
  • Antiviral (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 826)
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Astringent
  • Antimicrobial (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 559)

 

Folklore: An ancient remedy used to treat ulcers, burns, wounds, abdominal pains and bacterial disease, Hypericum perforatum has recently gained attention for the treatment of depression in clinical trials. The generic name Hypericum is derived from Greek and translates to “to overcome an apparition” (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 826).

While not a weed in its native Europe, Asia and North Africa, the plant has become a weed in most temperate regions of the world (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 826).

 

Indications

Traditional

  • Nervous afflictions: excitability, menopausal neurosis and hysteria
  • Disorders of the spine
  • Spinal injury
  • Neuralgia
  • Sciatica
  • Muscular rheumatism
  • Urinary problems
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dysentery
  • Parasitic infestation
  • Jaundice
  • Haemorrhages
  • Menorrhagia
  • Bed wetting
  • Topically used to treat ulcers, swellings, bruises

 

Indications supported by clinical trials

  • Mild-moderate depression (high level evidence)
  • Anxiety
  • Orofacial and genital herpes
  • Premature ejaculation
  • Psychological symptoms of menopause
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Social phobia
  • Psycological symptoms associated with IBS
  • Aerobic endurance in athletes
  • Wound healing and scar healing (topical)
  • Mild- moderate dermatitis (topical) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 826)

 

Has shown potential in:

  • Treatment and prevention of enveloped viruses (e.g. cold sores, genital herpes, chicken pox, shingles, glandular fever, cytomeglalovirus infection, viral herpes).
  • Sleeping disorders (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 826)

 

Preparation & Dosage

Tincture (1:5 in 40%): 2-4mL/tds

Infusion: 1-2tsp/1 cup water/tds

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 559)

 

Cautions & Contradictions:

Photosensitization has been reported at high doses (rare) (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 559)

 

Interactions

  • May interact with selected serotonin reuptake inhibitors (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 559)
  • Evidence shows St. John’s Wort to increase activity of isozyme CYP3A4 and therefore may theoretically reduce the activity of drugs that are known substrates for this isozyme, such as:
    • Nonsedative anti-histamines
    • Oral contraceptives
    • Certain antiretroviral agents
    • Antiepileptic medications
    • Calcium-channel blockers
    • Cyclosporine
    • Some chemotherapeutic drugs
    • Macrolide antibiotics
    • Selected anti-fungals

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 559)