St. John's Wort

Hypericum perforatum

Find this plant in Hortus Dijkspark.

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By Peripitus - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3240102 -

Description

Hypericum perforatum, or st. John’s wort, is a perennial and part of the Hypericaceae family. St. John’s wort grows to about 1m tall and produces star-shaped yellow flowers from May-August. 

In recent years studies have shown st. John’s wort to be a viable treatment for mild - moderate depression (67% of patients reported improvement in mood). However, it should not be used for severe or chronic depression or in combination with SRIs (such as prozac), as symptoms of serotonin syndrome may occur. The herb and the fruit are at times used to brew tea and the flowers can be used in making mead. Additionally yellow, gold, and brown dyes can be made from the flowers and leaves. A red dye is obtained through either an acidification process with the flowers or by infusing the whole plant with oil or alcohol.