Homeopathic Remedies in Common Use
Hypericum, St John’s wort
A perennial herbaceous plant that is a native of Britain, Europe and Asia, but is cultivated throughout the world. It grows between one and three feet in height, producing elongated, oval dark green leave that appear to be covered in minute spots or holes (hence perforatum, or perforate). In fact, these are minute oil-secreting glands that secrete a bright red solution. The large, bright yellow flowers appear in June, July and August and have small black dots around the edges of the petals. The crushed flowers produce a blood-coloured juice that was used, in early times, to treat raw wounds. It was also be lieved that the plant could be hung up to ward off evil spirits (the name Hypericum being derived from the Greek, meaning ‘over an apparition’).
There are two traditions associated with the common name, St John’s wort. One links the plant with 29 August, believed to be the anniversary of the execution of ST John the Baptist. The other is that the plant is named after an ancient order of Knights going back to the time of the Crusades, the knights of St John of Jerusalem.
The whole fresh green plant and flowers are used in homeopathy to produce the mother tincture. It is mainly used to tredat damage to nerves and nerve pain following accidental injury. Typically, there are shooting, stabbing pains that radiate upwards, and it is indicated especially where there are many nerve endings concentrated in a particular part of the body, e.g. the fingers and toes. It isvery effective in pains associated with the spinal nerves and spinal cord, concussion, head or eye injuries.
It is also a remedy for wounds and lacerations producing stabbing pains indicating nerve damage and accidental crushing injuries. It is useful for bites, stings, splinters and puncture wounds, toothache and pain following dental extractions. In addition, it is a treatment for and diarrhoea. It is sometimes helpful in the treatment of piles, or haemorrhoids, and some menstrual problems with accompanying headache. The symptoms are made worse by cold, damp or foggy weather, before a storm and getting chilled when undressing. Also for touch and for a close, stuffy atmosphere. Symptoms improve when the person remains still and tilts the head backwards.