Hypericum (St. John's wort)

Also known as St. John's wort or balsam, hypericum is a native plant of Europe, East Asia and North Africa. This plant is also found in North America and Australia.


The term Hypericum comes from the plant's latin name and was first referred to by Euryphonas in 288 BC. According to Linnaeus, the plant name is derived from the Greek words 'Hyper' (on top of) and 'icon' (image) due to the fact that in ancient Greece it was placed above religious depictions in order to rid them of evil.

The common name, St. John's wort, is a reference to St. John. Some early Christian authors claimed that red spots, symbolic of the blood of St. John, appeared on leaves of Hypericum. It is believed that the best day to pick this plant is on August 29, the anniversary of the saint's beheading, while others prefer June 24, the day of St. John's feast.

According to Hippocrates, the external use of hypericum significantly helps to heal burns. He also used it to treat pneumonia and female disorders.

  • Externally, hypericum extract is one of the most valuable, healing and anti-inflammatory herbs.

  • It has emollient, moisturizing and tonic properties on the skin.

  • It has antibacterial and disinfectant properties.

  • Internally, it has analgesic and sedative properties and is widely known as a herbal treatment for depression.
  • Disclaimer: Information on this particular article is intended for information purposes only. It is not the intention of the editor to advise on health care. Please see a medical professional about any health concerns you have.