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Uses

Toxic parts

Skin contact with the sap, or ingestion of the plant, can cause photosensitivity in some people[1][2][3].

Edible uses

Notes

The herb and the fruit are sometimes used as a tea substitute[4][5]. The flowers can be used in making mead[5].

Unknown part

Tea

Material uses

Yellow, gold and brown dyes are obtained from the flowers and leaves[6]. A red is obtained from the flowers after acidification[7].

A red dye is obtained from the whole plant when infused in oil or alcohol[4][8][9]. A yellow is obtained when it is infused in water[4][10][9].

The plant is said to contain good quantities of tannin, though exact figures are not available[11].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

St. John's wort has a long history of herbal use. It fell out of favour in the nineteenth century but recent research has brought it back to prominence as an extremely valuable remedy for nervous problems[12]. In clinical trials about 67% of patients with mild to moderate depression improved when taking this plant[12].

The flowers and leaves are analgesic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aromatic, astringent, cholagogue, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, nervine, resolvent, sedative, stimulant, vermifuge and vulnerary[13][14][1][15][16][17][3]. The herb is used in treating a wide range of disorders, including pulmonary complaints, bladder problems, diarrhoea and nervous depression[13]. It is also very effectual in treating overnight incontinence of urine in children[13]. Externally, it is used in poultices to dispel herd tumours, caked breasts, bruising etc[13]. The flowering shoots are harvested in early summer and dried for later use[4]. Use the plant with caution and do not prescribe it for patients with chronic depression[18]. The plant was used to procure an abortion by some native North Americans, so it is best not used by pregnant women[19]. See also the notes above on toxicity[15][3]. A tea or tincture of the fresh flowers is a popular treatment for external ulcers, burns, wounds (especially those with severed nerve tissue), sores, bruises, cramps etc[3][18]. An infusion of the flowers in olive oil is applied externally to wounds, sores, ulcers, swellings, rheumatism etc[20]. It is also valued in the treatment of sunburn and as a cosmetic preparation to the skin[20]. The plant contains many biologically active compounds including rutin, pectin, choline, sitosterol, hypericin and pseudohypericin[3]. These last two compounds have been shown to have potent anti-retroviral activity without serious side effects and they are being researched in the treatment of AIDS[3][18].

A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh whole flowering plant[21]. It is used in the treatment of injuries, bites, stings etc and is said to be the first remedy to consider when nerve-rich areas such as the spine, eyes, fingers etc are injured[21].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - sow in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn or in the spring. It normally germinates in 1 - 3 months at 10°c. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. Division in spring or autumn[22][18]. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Hypericum perforatum. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Easily grown in any reasonably good well-drained but moisture retentive soil[23]. Succeeds in dry soils[18]. Plants grow well in sun or semi-shade but they flower better when in a sunny position[24].

St. John's wort is often found as a weed in the garden[23]. It grows well in the summer meadow and is a useful plant for attracting insects[25]. The whole plant, especially when in bloom, gives off a most unpleasant smell when handled[26].

Hypericum perforatum is apparently an allotetraploid that would appear to have arisen from a cross between two diploid taxa, viz. H. maculatum subsp. maculatum (Europe to western Siberia) and H. attenuatum (western Siberia to China)[27].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Hypericum perforatum. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Hypericum perforatum.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Hypericum perforatum
Genus
Hypericum
Family
Hypericaceae
Imported References
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
3
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    "image:Hypericum perforatum01.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Hypericum perforatum01.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


    "image:Hypericum perforatum01.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Hypericum perforatum01.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:Hypericum perforatum01.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Hypericum perforatum01.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Hypericum perforatum01.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Hypericum perforatum01.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Hypericum perforatum01.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Hypericum perforatum01.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Hypericum perforatum01.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Hypericum perforatum01.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.






    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.2 Triska. Dr. Hamlyn Encyclopaedia of Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-33545-3 (1975-00-00)
    2. ? Cooper. M. and Johnson. A. Poisonous Plants in Britain and their Effects on Animals and Man. HMSO ISBN 0112425291 (1984-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.13.23.33.43.53.6 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.14.24.34.44.54.6 Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (1984-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.2 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.1 Grae. I. Nature's Colors - Dyes from Plants. MacMillan Publishing Co. New York. ISBN 0-02-544950-8 (1974-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Carruthers. S. P. (Editor) Alternative Enterprises for Agriculture in the UK. Centre for Agricultural Strategy, Univ. of Reading ISBN 0704909820 (1986-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.19.2 Johnson. C. P. The Useful Plants of Great Britain. ()
    10. ? 10.010.1 Komarov. V. L. Flora of the USSR. Israel Program for Scientific Translation (1968-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Rottsieper. E.H.W. Vegetable Tannins The Forestal Land, Timber and Railways Co. Ltd. (1946-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.112.2 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.113.213.313.4 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.1 Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
    15. ? 15.015.115.2 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    16. ? 16.016.1 Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism. ()
    17. ? 17.017.1 Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
    18. ? 18.018.118.218.318.418.5 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    19. ? 19.019.1 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
    20. ? 20.020.120.2 Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-00-00)
    21. ? 21.021.121.2 Castro. M. The Complete Homeopathy Handbook. Macmillan. London. ISBN 0-333-55581-3 (1990-00-00)
    22. ? Sanders. T. W. Popular Hardy Perennials. Collingridge (1926-00-00)
    23. ? 23.023.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    24. ? 24.024.1 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    25. ? Baines. C. Making a Wildlife Garden. ()
    26. ? Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)
    27. ? [Flora of China] (1994-00-00)
    28. ? Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (1962-00-00)

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