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st. john's wort
Famously used for depression nerves, stress, hopelessness, helplessness, anxiety, alcoholism, insomnia, inflammation, hemorrhoids, menopause, PMS, arthritis, gout, flu, viruses, AIDS, HIV, cancer, diarrhea, back pain, sciatica, bladder problems. A serotonin re-uptake inhibitor. This prevents serotonin from being reabsorbed from the nerve synapse, prolonging serotonins' antidepressant effects. A 2005 study showed it was more effective than Prozac, without the side effects. Contains hyperforin, which protects against gram-positive bacteria. Flowers and leaves can be put into salads or made into tea. Do not take St. John's Wort if you are taking antidepressant drugs- leads to "serotonin syndrome", a condition marked by confusion and cardiovascular irregularities. Also don't use St John's Wort if you are tanning (could burn skin) Named so because it flowers on St. John's day (summer solstice) Has small, narrow opposing leaves with transparent dots throughout the leaves if held up to light. These are the oil glands. Flowers are yellow, 5 petals, with black dots. When flower buds are crushed before they become flowers, a reddish purple liquid comes out. Tea can be used internally or externally for skin conditions, but remember not to go out in the sun after taking it.