St. John’s wort has an impressive history of traditional use, but does it really live up to the hype? More and more people are learning about this herb’s uplifting effects without knowing how it really works.
Today we’re going to go beyond the commonly known facts and look at the details behind how this herb has pushed beyond the fray and into mainstream modern science.
St. John’s Blessing
Historically, St. John’s wort has been used as far back as the ancient Greeks with its name referring to John the Baptist, as the plant blooms around the time of the feast of St. John the Baptist in late June. There was a held belief during the time that St. John’s wort warded off demons and witches, Samuel Henry even recommended it in the early 1800’s for “lowness of spirit.”
In a spiritual sense, St. John’s wort blooms to reveal beautiful yellow petals on the day of the Summer Solstice which was thought to chase away demons and treacherous spirits. Greeks and Romans were known to place sprigs of the plant on statues of their gods in order to ward off evil spirits. Ancient Romans were using St. John’s Wort during battles to treat inflammation and accelerate the healing of wounds.
Traditional medicine used St. John’s wort to aid in healing of wounds, kidney and lung ailments, insomnia and depression. In North America, the Cherokee Native Americans used St. John’s wort for fever, diarrhea, snakebite, skin and stomach conditions.
Modern science has begun to explain how St. John’s wort impacts neurotransmitters like serotonin in the brain and can help to restore a positive state of mind. Low serotonin is commonly associated with depressive like symptoms, making it hard to control your mood.
St. John’s wort falls under the herb family called Nervines, which are intended to nourish and support the central nervous system. They are designed by nature to restore balance and restfulness in the body.
Many active ingredients including hypericin, hyperforin, and adhyperforin are responsible for balancing serotonin, dopamine, GABA, and noradrenaline to healthy levels. As a result, the neurotransmitters are more effectively used in the brain to help a person experience fewer bouts of anxiety.
Using experimental models of depression in rats, St John’s wort extracts showed to promote more mobility and protection in response to acute and chronic forms of escape deficit induced by stressors. We’ve all felt stuck before, and St. John’s wort may help us get over hurdles of life in a natural way.
For an all-encompassing mental boost, we’ve included St. John’s wort in our Nootropic Focus product as well as many other natural ingredients that synergize well together.
Note: Hypericin found in St. John’s wort can induce sensitivity to light. If you feel these effects, it’s important to consult your medical doctor or perhaps stop supplementing with St. John’s wort. At Ascent, we recommend cycling on and off of St. John’s Wort on a regular basis, perhaps taking a day off on a weekly basis of daily use.