Tenerife and Canary Islands Herbs: St John's Wort

by BardofEly

St. John's Wort is a very popular medicinal herb used for its antidepressant properties and often sold in health stores and from suppliers of herbal supplements.

Tenerife has its own species of St John's Wort

St John's Wort has been hailed by many people as a natural version of Prozac because of its antidepressant properties. Tenerife has its own endemic species of Canary Island St John's Wort (Hypericum canariense).

Like other species of St John's Wort it has golden yellow starry flowers and is a very pretty wild flower besides having uses in herbal medicine. Canary Island St John's Wort is known as "Granadilla" or "Granadillo" in Spanish, or as "Sanjuanero" or "Malfurada".

Canary Island's St John's Wort

Hypericum canariensis
Canary Island's St John's Wort in full bloom
Canary Island's St John's Wort in ful...

St John's Wort described

All about St John's Worts

Canary Island St John's Wort is found on waste ground, roadsides and at the edges of forests. There are actually some other species in the family present in the Canary Islands. H. canariense is found in on Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera, Gran Canaria and El Hierro but not on the hot and dry Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. The species H. grandiflorum grows on all the islands and H. coadunatum is a rare plant that only occurs on Gran Canaria.

Perforated St John's Wort (H. perforatum), the type of St John's Wort commonly used around the world and originally from the Mediterranean, European countries and elsewhere in the world has been introduced to Tenerife and the Canary Islands and is known as "Hierba de San Juan".

Canary Island St John's Wort grows into a large bush that can reach as much as three metres in height. Although it has a long flowering period it tends to drop its leaves in the hot summer months.

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St John's Wort as a supplement
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St. John's Wort Benefits Emotional Health

Does St. John's Wort work?

Herbal antidepressant

Herbal Prozac

St John's Worts contain hypericin which acts as an antidepressant and is recommended for nervous conditions. It can be taken as a herbal infusion of flowers and leaves or made into tablets and capsules, which is how the herb is usually sold commercially.

St John's Wort should not be combined with other antidepressants or taken by women who are pregnant. A side effect of using St John's Wort is that photosensitive dermatitis may be caused on the skin if the patient is exposed to strong sunlight. This has caused some problems in the supply of the herb and at one point it was taken off the shelves of health shops in Ireland. If caution is used though when taking this herb it is generally well-tolerated.

St John's Wort has also been used to treat duodenal ulcers, chest complaints, varicose veins, gastritis and bruises and inflamed joints. It is thought to lower cholesterol as well and has been used externally to treat skin cancers. St John's Worts contain catechin, a tannin also found in green tea and believed to have anticarcinogenic properties.

St John's Wort oil made by steeping the herb in olive oil is used externally as a massage oil for arthritis and rheumatism, as well as a treatment against scarring and to speed healing from burns.

St John's Wort is a herb with very many uses but for me its beautiful yellow flowers are always enough to brighten my days!

 Copyright © 2013 Steve Andrews. All Rights Reserved.

St. John's Wort

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Updated: 02/23/2013, BardofEly
 
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BardofEly on 02/25/2013

Thank you for posting!

EliasZanetti on 02/25/2013

Cool.. practical info for a better everyday life!

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