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ST. JOHN’S WORT
St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a perennial herbaceous plant in the Gutiferaceae (Hypericaceae) family.
This plant is found throughout Europe (except Iceland), Asia and Northern Africa. St. John’s wort grows in uncultivated land, sparse woods and dry meadows, generally in calcareous soils.
It is commonly found in mainland Portugal and Madeira, in fields, hedges, meadows and near paths.
Its flowering aerial parts are commonly used. St. John’s wort contains naphthodianthrones (0.1-0.6%, hypericin, pseudohypericin, isohypericin, protohypericin), flavonoids (hyperoside, amentoflavone, rutin, quercitrin, isoquercitrin), phloroglucinol derivatives (hyperforin), acids (caffeic, chlorogenic, gentisic, ferulic), proanthocyanidins, essential oil, phytosterols, furanocoumarins, tannins and carbohydrates.
St. John’s wort has the following properties:
• Useful for treating mild to moderate depression;
• Useful for treating nervous breakdown and stress;
• Calming and tranquilising;
• Useful for treating anxiety and mood disorders;
• Promotes restful sleep;
• Helpful in the treatment of dyspepsia and abdominal cramps;
• Useful for treating bruises, myalgia and mild burns, when applied topically.