St John's wort is the common name of a flowering plant family, embracing any species of the Hypericum genus. Perforated St John’s wort, or Hypericum perforatum, is a medicinal herb with potent anti-inflammatory properties and antidepressant and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) activity.
Several studies support the effectiveness of the herb in treating depression, suggesting that it is as effective as the usual pharmaceutical antidepressants and generally has fewer side-effects. Researchers believe that St John's wort works by inhibiting the reuptake capacity of certain neurotransmitters. It is known for having a number of interactions with prescription drugs and should be treated with caution if taking other medication for depression, contraception, immunosuppression and blood pressure.
St John's wort contains a number of chemical components, including anthraquinones and flavonoids, which have been shown to have antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, and some antioxidant carotenoids. Its main power lies in the phytochemical phenols which inhibit the reuptake of antidepression neurotransmitters including norephinephrine, dopamine and serotonin, thus allowing those substances to exert a beneficial power on the brain.
Compounds of St John's wort have been traditionally used in herbal medicine, in creams and ointments to treat burns, abrasions, wounds and muscle pain