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St. John's Wort, Corazoncillo, St. John, St. John's wort.


The drug plant is formed by the dried flowering tops of Hypericum perforatum L. collected during the flowering season or a little earlier.

Chemical composition.

The major components of St. John's wort are naftodiantronas, the drug also contains flavonoids, essential oil and other various components.

• derivatives Diantronas (0. 1 - 0. 3%) mainly Hypericine and seudohipericina (in 1: 2 ratio) and a mixture of their biosynthetic precursors, protohipericina and protoseudohipericina, which are Transform into cyclic compounds by light.

• Flavonoids, mainly derived from heterósidos quercetol as St. John quercitrina, rutoside and isoquercitrina Genina, as well as from the quercetin, kenferol, luteolina and myricetin; biflavonoides which are mainly present in the flowers.

• Tannins.

Essential oil.

• Phytosterols (beta - sitosterol)

• phenolic acids (caféico acid, chlorogenic, ferúlico)

• Components several derivatives of Phloroglucinol cumarinas.

Pharmacological data.

Hypericum perforatum L. is the active ingredient in many medicines sold in Germany (more than 40 medicines made with St. John's Wort as a single component or in combination with other drugs plant)

The results obtained in vitro or in animal experiments, as well as in humans, with preparations based on St. John's wort have shown the pharmacological properties referred to below and that are confirmed in over 20 clinical studies, double - blind or open.

• Effects antidepressants with reduced aggressive behavior and increased physical activity (in animals) and improvement of major depressive symptoms of the syndrome in humans, such as lack of concentration, fatigue.

• Effects promoters dream of elongation of the phases of deep sleep.

Activity MAO inhibitor. The higher activity is attributed to several flavonoids, quercetin and aglicona. Xanthones, present in small quantity, they also have a powerful inhibitor.

• Potent antiviral effects (only for high doses of Hypericine)

The tests performed in vitro with St. John's wort showed effects similar to those obtained with other antidepressant drugs, but it is still impossible to know which components should be attributed these antidepressant effects: the results of research conducted with fractions of St. John's wort extract suggest that not only Hypericine are involved in the antidepressant effects of the preparations of St. John's wort, but also derivatives foroglucinol and a specific type of flavonoids.

The antidepressant action has been demonstrated in several studies in animals. The extract of St. John's wort has revealed an increase in exploratory activity in mice placed in half unknown, an increase of time sleeping drug and dose - dependent reduction of aggressive behavior in males isolated from its environment.

Observations on the Man.

The St. John's Wort is used for many years in folk medicine as a remedy for wounds, urinary tract infections and to alleviate the disorder of the nervous system. Over the past 15 years has been studied Hypericum perforatum L. in the indication of "symptomatic treatment of moderate depression" that is accompanied by states of decay, lack of concentration, loss of interest, fatigue and insomnia, irritability.

The good clinical results obtained with the extract of St. John's wort are well documented in numerous studies, clinical trials and double - blind studies comparing its effects to those of antidepressants synthesis (there are nearly 30 controlled studies in over 1500 patients depressive) St. John's wort extract is a valuable alternative to tricyclic antidepressants.


Most of the studies conducted with the dry St. John's wort have been conducted with doses equivalent to 0. 5 - 1. 0 mg daily Hypericine during a period between 4 and 8 weeks. The tolerance of the preparations are excellent and always found acceptance on the part of patients was very high.

In the studies reviewed, the level of side effects was approximately 2% and the symptoms commonly observed were gastro - intestinal manifestations (nausea, gastralgias) tiredness and, in rare cases, allergic signs (reddening of the face, itching and erythema)

It does not cause drowsiness and has no negative influence on the ability to drive or operate machinery. St. John's wort preparations are characterized by a clear and almost no risk.

The St. John's wort is not indicated for treatment of severe depression. His indication is recognized by the Federal Bureau of Health in Germany calling for the administration of preparations of St. John's wort (2 to 4 grams daily of plant drugs) for the treatment of mild to moderate depression.

The toxicology of the preparations of St. John's wort is primarily concerned with the phototoxicity of naftodiantronas. However phototoxicity that appears only in humans when they ingest quantities of more than 30 times the recommended therapeutic. Should not be used concurrently with antidepressants or antihypertensives except prescription.

The drug.

It consists of the dried flowering tops collected during the flowering season or a little earlier.

The stem is bouquets, aristation and hairless, has two longitudinal bands more or less salient. The leaves opposing, not specified, oval - oblong measuring 15 to 20 mm in length. Glandulosa black hair show at the edges and on the whole surface, many secretory glands, translucent visible transparency.

The flowers are regular and grouped in clusters corimbiformes at the top of the stem. Lead 5 petals and yellow gold old also recorded at the edge Blacks secreting hairs. The stamens are triadelfos, yellow gold and 3 carpels with red styles.



Wirksamkeit des Johanniskrautextraktes LI 160 bei Verstimmung - depressive Nervenheilkunde, 1991, 10, 250 - 253.

G. Harb and H. SOMMER.

Therapie leichte / mittelschwerer Depressionen mit Hypericum.

Münch. med. Wschr. 1993, 22, 305 - 309.

J. HOFFMANN et al.

Therapie von depresivven Zuständen mit Hypericin.

Z. Gen. Med. 1979, 55, 776 - 782.

D. JOHNSON et al. b)

Einfluss auf die von Johanniskraut ZNS - Aktivitäten.

Neurol. Psychiatr. 1992, 6, 436 - 444.

J. Hölzle.

Inhaltsstoffe und des Wirkmechanismen Johanniskraut.

Zeit. f. Phytother. 1993, 14, 255 - 264.

R. KNIEBEL and J. M. Burchard.

Zur Therapie depressive Verstimmungen in der Praxis.

Z. Gen. Med. 1988, 64, 689 - 696.

J. Kugler and al.

Zur Pharmakodynamik cinemas Hypericum - Extraktes.

Z. Gen. Med. 1990, 66, 13 - 20.

J. Kugler and al.

Therapie depressive Zustände.

Z. Gen. Med. 1990, 66, 21 - 29.


Psychometrische Messung Leistungskapazität unter der Therapie mit antidepressiver Johanniskraut - Extrakt.

Nervenheilkunde, 1991, 10, 313 - 315.

H. MÜLDNER et al.

Antidepressive Wirkung auf den eines Wirkstoffkomplex Hypericin standardized Hypericum - Extraktes.

Arzneim - forsch. Drug. Res. 1984, 34 (II) 918 - 920.

N. OKPANYI S et al.

Tierexperimentelle Untersuchungen zur psychotropen Wirksamkeit eines Hypericum - Extraktes.

Arzneim. Forsch. Drug. Res. 1987, 37 (I) 10 - 13.

D. PIESCHL et al.

Zur Behandlung von Depressionen.

Therapiewoche, 1989, 39, 2567 - 2571.


Hypericum als Pflanzliche Antidepressivum.

Zeit. f. Phytoter. 1993, 14, 239 - 254.


Konstantes Reaktionsvermögen unter antidepressiver Therapie mit dem Hypericum Präparat LI - 160.

Nervenheilkunde, 1991, 10, 311 - 312.


Improvement of complaints by psychovegetative hypericum.

And 4th International Congress on Phytotherapy, Sept. 10 - 13, 1992, Muchich (Abstracts SL55)

H. SOMMER. Besserung psychovegetativer Beschwerde durch Hypericum im Rahmen einer multizentrischen Doppelblindstudie. Nervenheilkunde.

Nervenheilkunde, 1991, 10, 308 - 310.


Beeinflussung klimalterischer Depressionen.

Z. Gen. Med. 1986, 62, 1111 - 1113.


Multicentric practice - study analyzing the functional capacity in depressive patients. 4th and international.

Congress on Phytotherapy, Sept, 10 - 13. 1992 Munich (Abstracts SL54)

Diseases whose treatment is appropriate in this plant.

Stress and depression.

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