ST. JOHN'S WORT

#31- ST. JOHN’S WORT, Hypericum perforatum

So you guys know that I’m not a doctor and I am always reminding you guys to check with your health care provider about including new herbs or supplements in your protocols. I mean it! I especially mean it when it comes to Lyme treatment and depression. Lyme and depression should not be navigated alone. They are complicated situations that benefit greatly from an educated, clear, healthy mind to help you figure out how to navigate the next step. So, when I tell you in the video that I’m using St. John’s Wort to increase my low Serotonin levels. I want to be very clear that I’m doing this with the help of a doctor that can think clearly and help me figure out dosing and when to cut back, etc… Please do not navigate depression by yourself!!!!! Or Lyme for that matter! 

Okay now that I’ve said that… I’d like to introduce you to St. John’s Wort. A lovely summer time herb that is named after St. John, who was said to be born on June 24th. St. John’s Wort flowers are blooming around that time of year. The little yellow flowers and leaves have this amazing red pigment in them. 

Here’s a close up photo of a St. John’s Wort leaf that my hubby snapped. Isn’t it beautiful? Do you see all that amazing red medicine? That’s what stains your fingers when you’re working with the plant. 

PICT1643


St. John’s Wort is so incredible for nerve health or to help treat nerve pain. It can be used internally or an oil extraction can be applied externally. It can be used when healing from deep cuts where the nerve is damaged or post surgery. In my midwifery practice (which was a lifetime ago and before I got sick) we would instruct women to drizzle St. John’s Wort oil over their vaginal stitches. There are so many nerve endings on delicate lady parts and deep tears down there hurt like heck. Many women would thank us profusely for this suggestion as it helped them recover from birth much faster and there were no issues of numbness after tearing. 

St. John’s Wort is an excellent anti-viral. Some people dealing with chronic viral infections will use St. John Wort oil applied to their under arms and groin, where skin is soft and absorption is great. In vitro studies suggest that Hypericum constituents have antiviral activity against cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex, influenza virus A, human immunodeficiency virus type 1, Moloney murine leukemia virus, and sindbis virus I find St. John’s Wort especially helpful for those dealing with the pain of Shingles. 

St. John’s wort is an antispasmodic herb and helps to relax muscles spasms. As we discussed before with Crampbark and Valerian, a spasm can be a cough, intestinal spasms, IBS symptoms, menstrual cramps, etc. When tight spasming muscles are occurring a massage or application of St. John’s Wort oil is divine. 

And last but not least St. john’s Wort is well known for its anti-depressant qualities. When I think of using this herb for depression. I think of mild to moderate depression, that is often out of character,  is circumstantial, or during times of grief. I think of its use for short periods of time. St. John’s wort is NOT something that I would recommend for a severely depressed or suicidal person. As I mentioned above, depression should not be self treated and  it is incredibly helpful if not essential to have someone help you navigate it. 

Interactions have been noted between St John’s wort and certain pharmaceutical medicines including anti-depressants, warfarin, theophylline, ciclosporin, digoxin, anticonvulsants, HIV protease inhibitors, selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, triptans, and oral contraceptives. If you are taking any of these medicines and are curious about using St. John’s Wort PLEASE seek professional advice as dose adjustments of conventional treatments ma

I misspoke in the video. Gaia herbs is in Brevard, NC, not it’s neighboring town  Hendersonville. 

Here is link to the product I was speaking about:


*I just thought I’d add in here that my experience with IV ozone was “my experience”… I know numerous people for whom it was life changing in a really positive way. For me, ozone treatments did help with pain levels, but it changed my symptoms from roaming pain to serious cognitive stuff alongside deep sadness. So here’s the thing I’d like to point out….It’s that us Lyme folks are mostly guessing. Even the best of the physicians out there, are guessing too. It’s alot of trial and era in finding what works. Treatments that work amazing for one person can be detrimental to an other. When I declined with the IV ozone, I thought, “This is a herx. Just keep detoxing strong and things will get better”, but it didn’t. I often think of the film ‘The Never-Ending Story’ where the wife of the scientist says “It’s got to hurt to heal”…. So many of us get so used to feeling awful with treatment and we endure extreme discomfort in hopes that we’ll one day feel better. I have learned for myself that if I’m having a strong Herxheimer reaction, it does not mean that that treatment is working great for me. If I am herxing, I let up a little, use a smaller dose the next day and let my body adjust. I used to think that if I went at it full throttle and treated heavy and had big Herxheimer reactions that I was knocking Lyme down…. but really I was knocking myself down. I have learned to be kinder to my body. I was so hopeful for ozone treatments. I was willing to endure the awful side effects because I thought at the end of treatment I’d be so much better off. Sadly, I had really hurt myself and I didn’t listen to that inner voice saying, “This is too much. This is hurting” because so many others said it was a wonder treatment and it was so expensive that I thought it had to work….. So folks if it’s not working….If you’re detoxing with your effort and continue to feel awful for an extended period… well maybe that treatment isn’t the right one for you….?


Interesting articles linking depression with infection:

If Depression Were an Infection: Studies show a strong link between inflammation and mental illness

Could Depression Be Caused By An Infection?

Repeated Low-Grade Infections Associated With Antidepressant-Resistant Depression

There are hundreds of articles out there, just research “depression and infection”…. Many seem to be linking inflammation caused by infection to depression symptoms.

Research:

Review: St John’s wort superior to placebo and similar to antidepressants for major depression but with fewer side effects

Does St. John’s Wort Do Anything? Full Review Of Research

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