St. John’s Wort and the Pelvic Region
St. John’s Wort is a plant with yellow flowers whose medicinal uses were first recorded in ancient Greece. The name St. John’s wort apparently refers to John the Baptist, as the plant blooms around the time of the feast of St. John the Baptist in late June.
Common Names — St. John’s wort, hypericum, Klamath weed, goat weed.
Latin Name — Hypericum perforatum.
Description — A plant or part of a plant used for its flavor, scent, or potential therapeutic properties. Includes flowers, leaves, bark, fruit, seeds, stems, and roots.
Hypericin — A pigment (hypericin) in the plant causes skin problems only when exposed to sunlight (photosensitization); others name this as “phototoxicity”.
Note: Skin that is protected from radiation by dense fur or dark melanin pigmentation is generally unaffected. Persons with fair skin avoid exposure to strong sunlight and other sources of ultraviolet light when taking St. John’s Wort because of some cases of photosensitivity that have been reported.
- Hypericin is produced by St. John’s wort in special spherical glands. When a leaf is held up to sunlight, scores of these scattered glands appear like tiny translucent (yellowish) windows. Linnaeus recognized these as being like perforations (perforatum).
- Hypericin inhibits monoamine oxidase (MAO) – a bodily chemical associated with depression.
- It appears that hypericin does not act alone. Like many herbal medicines, St. John’s Wort relies on the complex interplay of many constituents for its antidepressant actions. Patients suffering from depression received relief, increased appetite, more interest in life, greater self-esteem and restoration of normal sleeping patterns.
St. John’s wort has been used
* for treatment of mental disorders and nerve pain.
* as a sedative and a treatment for malaria, as well as a balm for wounds, burns, and insect bites.
* by some for depression, anxiety, and/or sleep disorders.
In Europe, this plant character was treated by practitioners of the Doctrine of Signatures as a sign from God that the plant was to be used as a cure for punctures or cuts in the skin. Herbal medicine still recommends hypericin oil for cuts. When the yellow petal is crushed, the hypericin turns red, as if the plant is bleeding–another indication in folk medicine for using this plant to treat wounds.
How It Is Used
- The flowering tops of St. John’s wort are used to prepare teas and tablets containing concentrated extracts.
- St. John’s wort has an important action on the rectum: hæmorrhoids. coccydynia (tailbone pain).
- St. John’s wort is useful for pelvic pain and cramping. According to the 1983 British Pharmacopoeia, St. John’s wort is specifically indicated for “menopausal neuroses”: Many women who experience anxiety, depression, and other emotional disturbances during menopause may benefit from this herb’s use.
- St. John’s wort oil is used for bruises, is anti-inflammatory, and is often used by herbalists to help speed healing of wounds and sores.
- St. John’s wort oil has antiphlogistic qualities, in other words, it helps to reduce inflammation.
- Externally it is applied to bruises, sprains, burns, skin irritations, or any laceration accompanied by severed nerve tissue.
What the Science Says
There is some scientific evidence that St. John’s wort is useful for treating mild to moderate depression. Some researchers believe that St. John’s wort is a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor, while others suspect that high concentrations of flavonoids contribute to its antidepressant activity. Extracts from St. John’s wort contain several active compounds, many of which have been shown to bind to the neuroreceptors in the brain.
Side Effects and Cautions
- St. John’s wort may cause increased sensitivity to sunlight. (photosensitization)
- Other side effects can include anxiety, dry mouth, dizziness, gastrointestinal symptoms, fatigue, headache, or sexual dysfunction.
- Research shows that St. John’s wort interacts with some drugs. The herb affects the way the body processes or breaks down many drugs; in some cases, it may speed or slow a drug’s breakdown.
- Drugs that can be affected include:
o Birth control pills
o Cyclosporine, which prevents the body from rejecting transplanted organs
o Digoxin, which strengthens heart muscle contractions
o Indinavir and possibly other drugs used to control HIV infection
o Irinotecan and possibly other drugs used to treat cancer
o Warfarin and related anticoagulants
- When combined with certain antidepressants, St. John’s wort may increase side effects such as nausea, anxiety, headache, and confusion.
- Avoid foods that contain tyramine, alcoholic beverages, and medications such as tyrosine, narcotics, amphetamines, and over-the-counter cold and flu remedies while taking St. John’s wort.
- People allergic to plants in the Hypericaceae family should avoid use of St. John’s wort.
Although these uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Think about Red, Pelvic, sexual dysfunction
After reexamining the list “Side effects and Cautions” you will notice – like I did – that there is a LOT of items pointing to the Pelvic Region and the Reproductive System. I wonder if there is any relationship and if St. John’s wort has any influence on the Base Chakra or the Water Chakra as known in the Indian Knowledge base. Since red (hypericin) is the color of this chakra area. Investigate this notion!