St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) has a history of being used as a medicine dating back to ancient Greece, where it was used for a range of illnesses. St. John’s wort has antibacterial, antiseptic and antiviral properties. It stimulates skin cells regeneration as well as the blood circulation at dermis level.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it has been applied to the skin to help heal wounds and burns as well as eczema and itchy or irritated skin.
St. John’s wort contains several phyto-chemicals including hypericin, hyperforin, tanins, carotenoids and other flavonoids with antioxidant properties. If you crush a flower bud between your fingers, you will release a burgundy red juice – evidence of the hypericin. St. John’s wort oil should display this beautiful red colouring, which indicates the presence of the desired flavonoids.
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Background image by Leslie Seaton from Seattle, WA, USA (St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons