Written by Lee Stevenson
I am writing this for educational purposes do not take this as medical advice. If you are ill please seek the aid of a qualified and experienced functional medicine practitioner.
St Johns wort (hypericum perforatum)
There are many species of St Johns wort but they are chemically similar so should have the same properties as those studied. Reduces gut inflammation and helps to heal gastric ulcers. Helps with system inflammation by reducing most types of inflammatory cytokines. Viruses like Covid and Herpes use inflammation to stealth from the immune system. It has shown to reduce the length of a flu infection and has been shown to inhibit HIV replication. It also is effective at helping with herpes because it increases type 1 interferon which is inhibited by herpes viruses so they can protect themselves. Type 1 interferon kills RNA type viruses and most RNA viruses inhibit it. It increases beta oxidation which would help with diabetes and obesity. St Johns wort also restores function to many pathways that are inhibited by Covid and herpes. The flowers have antidepressant properties this is why I forage it when the plant is flowering. St Johns Wort activates many antiviral pathways will helping to balance the immune system. It is a very good alternative to NSAIDs. It helps to prevent Alzheimers because it inhibits the formation of B-amyloid plaque. St Johns wort improve pancreatic function and health. It increases the production of adiponection which is low in those who have diabetes and are obese. It improves insulin and glucose levels in the body. St Johns wort improves liver and kidney function. Because of it’s potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties it helps to prevent cancer.
Because of it’s sedative like effects it should not be taken when driving or operating any dangerous machinery. I would recommend taking this one at night when a person would not be involved in activities that could cause harm to themselves or others. It activates the PXR receptor which is the primary xenobiotic receptor in the body. Xenobiotics are environmental toxins and carcinogenic hormones that can cause endocrine disruption and hormone imbalance. Increased PXR expression would increase the detoxing of xenobiotics by increasing Phase 2 detox enzymes. Increased PXR expression also reduces gut inflammation. PXR activation reduces expression of TLR4 which is overexpressed in many inflammatory diseases including inflammatory bowel and interstitial cystitis. PXR increased expression protects from DNA damage.
Excessive use of St Johns wort can cause excess bleeding because it do prevent blood clotting. It can also make one more sensitive to sunlight. It helps to prevent adrenal over activation. Stress and sepsis can induce changes in the brain that can cause a person to get stuck in fight or flight mode. St Johns wort helps to reverse those changes and normalize the function of the HPA. St Johns wort has been found to improve the health of the blood brain barrier.
Using high doses of St Johns wort can cause temporary tachycardia. St Johns wort is an MAO-A and B inhibitor. This is how it reduces anxiety but it can cause increased tyramine levels. Consumption of tryptophan while using St Johns wort can cause serotonin syndrome which increases body temperature, causes night sweating, dilated pupils and diarrhea. It can also increase blood pressure. This is why I believe it should be used in low dose to prevent side effects.