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St. John’s Wort: A Potential Answer to Life’s Worries

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

St. John’s Wort

Story at-a-glance -

  • St. John’s wort, which can be found in Europe, the U.S. and in some parts of Asia and Africa, is named after St. John the Baptist. The saint’s feast day falls on June 24, around the same time the plant’s flowers bloom each year
  • Addressing mental health issues is one of St. John’s wort’s strongest suits, although research has shown that it may also provide relief against menopausal symptoms and help reduce breast cancer risk
  • St. John’s wort can also be found as a tea or oil, and each item delivers body-wide benefits
  • You should exercise caution when using any form of St. John’s wort, since multiple side effects were linked to it

St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) is named after St. John the Baptist, since it's usually in full bloom by June 24, the saint's feast day. The plant bears yellow flowers with petals that have black dots on their edges. It can stand 1 to 3 feet tall, and has multiple reddish stems and yellow-green leaves. Although primarily found in Europe, St. John's wort can now be found growing in the U.S., China, northern Africa, western and eastern Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

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