Hypericum: A Homeopathic Remedy
Hypericum, or St John’s Wort, is abundant the world over, and can be found in Britain and the rest of Europe, North America and Asia. It is a herb called Hypericum Perfoliatum (from the family Hypericaceae). This plant can be mistaken as a weed, as it grows wild in woods, along the edges of fields and meadows and ranges from one to three feet in height. The vibrant yellow flowers are in bloom between June and August and these buds emit a reddy/purple juice when bruised. They have dark green leaves with lots of minute holes which are oil glands – these look like human pores, and the juice like blood – hence the main reason it was used to treat flesh wounds (this is called a doctrine of signature and is based on the similarities with the plant and the human body).
Hypericum was classed as a ‘precious remedy for deep wounds’ by the herbalist Gerard. It was also used in reducing fevers, stimulating kidneys and for getting rid of worms, and as a tonic for calming nerves. Along with Arnica, it is a must in anyone’s homeopathic (or general) first aid kit.
Below is a short list of issues hypericum can help but they are specific, so a description of each symptom (where necessary) is included. If, for example, you have a bee sting and the pain is not shooting or tearing, then hypericum may not be necessary in that issue.
Some general injuries that hypericum may benefit:
General injuries – this applies to any cuts/wounds to nervy parts of the body such as fingers and toes, eyes, lips, spine (especially the coccyx), etc where they have been punctured, crushed, lacerated and/or are slow to heal. The causes could range from accidents to a splinter, surgery to a visit to the dentist and where the pains are shooting.
These wounds tend to be very painful and inflamed and this is due to nerve injury (in many cases, the pain can be a lot worse than the injury looks). Where pain is severe and shoots up the body, hypericum is the remedy for it. This remedy is excellent after surgery (as in most cases, cutting through nerves is involved).
Other issues hypericum benefits
Backache – where pains in coccyx, lower back etc are sore/bruised, shooting or tearing. Any spinal injury would do this, as would childbirth, epidural etc.
Bites/stings – where bites are inflamed and pain is shooting or tearing. This relates to both animal and insect bites (always see a doctor for animal bites). This remedy is for the really painful bites or stings, where pain is tearing/shooting up nerves.
Boils – apply lotion as a compress for pain relief and to increase healing.
Burns – gauze/lint strips can be soaked in hypericum lotion wrung out and laid over burned areas. It is best accompanied with a pill of same remedy but if severe, a trip to your doctor/emergency is a must.
Piles – the lotion/ointment of hypericum can ease bleeding piles when this is accompanied by shooting pain.
Shock – like arnica, hypericum is very useful when dealing with shock – specifically shock that accompanies injuries.
Sunburn – see burns
As with all homeopathic remedies, it is a good idea to confer with a specialist, with a professional homeopath who can take any conventional medications into account. With hypericum, it is suggested that the person taking it should avoid direct sunlight for at least two hours after ingesting.
Hypericum is a wonderful remedy that should be in everyone’s first aid kit, whether conventional or alternative medicine dominates. It is recommended that, if you are taking other medications, you should consult a qualified homeopath before taking a course of this remedy but one-off shock treatments should be fine.
While hypericum is used for depression in many cases, it is not often the best remedy. One of the more general depression remedies is Ignatia Amara, which will be looked at later. If you do suffer, visit a professional, qualified homeopath before popping any remedy, to find out which remedy will be of most benefit.
The Complete Homeopathy Handbook by Miranda Castro