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St. John's Wort (Hypericum) tincture

St. John's Wort (Hypericum) tincture

(Hypericum perforatum; 250 mg/ml)

Traditionally used as a sedative for relief of restlessness or nervousness

Used for bedwetting in children

Although St. John’s wort is widely known as a treatment for mild-moderate depression, as confirmed by numerous double blind, placebo-controlled trials, depression is considered a ‘Schedule A’ claim by Health Canada. Therefore, although since 1979 there have been about 30 controlled trials involving thousands of patients with mild to moderate depressive disorders, including 12 controlled studies on preparations made from traditional tinctures that confirm the antidepressant activity, no such claims can be made. In fact, a review of 23 clinical trials conducted up until 1996 concluded that St. John’s wort was "significantly superior to placebo" for treating mild to moderate depressive episodes, "and similarly effective as standard antidepressants". Later studies also confirmed comparable effectiveness to fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft) as well as benefit in major depression.

With the exception of its antiviral use, other common applications for St. John’s wort date back at least 2,000 years. Traditional Greek physicians Hippocrates, Theophrastus, Dioscorides and Galen, for example, all documented use of St. John’s wort for various disorders including for neuralgia, as a diuretic and as a wound healer. Swiss physician Paracelsus documented its use for psychiatric disorders. It became known since his time as "arnica for the nerves".

St. John’s wort was a favourite of Eclectic and homeopathic physicians as an external application for injuries to nerve-rich areas like the spine, punctured wounds, lacerations and bruises as well as for neuralgic affections like sciatica. It was also favoured for cases of "hysteria" and "nervous affections with depression". St. Francis Herb Farm, Inc. also makes St. John’s wort oil, which is an excellent wound dressing.

A number of sources confirm the use of St. John’s wort for bedwetting in children, including traditional herbalist Mrs. M. Grieve, who states that, "for children troubled with incontinence of urine at night an infusion or tea given before retiring will be found effectual". St. John’s wort is licensed as a standard treatment for enuresis in Germany.

Administration: 24-48 drops (0.8-1.6 ml) 3x daily in a little water on an empty stomach.

Contraindications and Cautions:

Consult a health care practitioner if you experience sleep disturbances or if you are taking conventional medication, such as contraceptives, HIV-1 protease inhibitors, nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, immunosuppresants, anticoagulant, digoxin, theophylline, serotonergic antidepressants, migraine therapies, SSRIs and/or anti-epilepsy drugs. Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight, ultraviolet light (UV) or UV therapy. Do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding. Stop use of this herb at least 2 weeks prior to surgery. May be used up to 6 weeks.