Hypericum peforatum

Plant family: Hypericaceae (Hypericum family)

Part used: top

Taste: bitter

Historical commentary: Though long used, this herb was a relatively minor one in the European tradition until the latter part of the 20th century when its antidepressant activities were researched and shown to be significant.


Sedative: for depression, anxiety, irritability, nervous tension.

Modern findings: This herb has become one of the most intensively investigated in modern times due to the possibility that it acts as a safer but equally effective antidepressant when compared to several modern drug therapies.

Dosage: 2-4 grams.

Active constituents: The intensive investigation of the herb for antidepressant activity has also led to extensive analysis of potential active ingredients, of which there are many. These include tannins (similar to those found in tea), flavonoids, volatile oils, and hypericin, a complex flavonoid that is used as a measure for standardized extracts (though it is not believed to be the main active component).

Cautions: Photosensitization is possible, though rare; interactions with some drugs may occur (these include: Warfarin, serotonin-uptake inhibitors, digitoxin, theophylline, cyclosporin, phenprocoumon, Indinavir, oral contraceptives), though the dosage of St. John's Wort used here should have minimal effects even when taking the full dose of 1 teabag three times per day.

Künzle Formula: Tea for Mood.