St. John's wort oil is a healing red oil from the yellow blossoms of St. John's wort. The macerate is also popularly called red oil. Herbal medicine has been using St. John's wort oil for centuries as a natural healing oil for wound healing for injured skin, muscle pain, skin irritations, rheumatism or wound healing disorders. In medicine, St. John's wort is used, for example, as a tea as a herbal antidepressant for depression or for stomach complaints.
The wound-healing effect of St. John's wort
The many active substances in the oil accelerate wound healing and have an anti-inflammatory effect; infection is less likely to occur.
- Hypericin, actually the pigment of the flowers, counteracts bacterial inflammation.
- Polyphenols have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
- The enzyme hyperforin accelerates the formation of new blood vessels, has an anti-inflammatory effect and promotes wound healing.
- The tannins contained in the flowers have an astringent effect and also promote wound healing.
- Some active ingredients in the oil stimulate the formation of keratinocytes, which can lead to accelerated repair of damaged skin cells.
Since St. John's wort oil contains multiple wound-healing properties, it is perfect for skin care for dry skin, pimples, eczema and skin abrasions. For neurodermatitis or psoriasis, the active ingredients in the oil soothe the skin and relieve itching. In the case of acne or pimples, it is recommended to dab a little oil on the inflamed area. A few drops of the oil are usually enough.
Side effects of St. John's wort oil
The substance hypericin contained in the oil is not only effective against bacteria, but also sensitises the skin to UV light, so that sunburn can develop more quickly. Therefore, one should avoid direct sunlight when applying St. John's wort oil. However, current study results show that the light sensitivity only occurs with very highly concentrated amounts. In any case, taking the oil can lead to interactions with various medications (e.g. the pill). It is also not recommended to take the oil together with other antidepressants. Pregnant women, nursing mothers, children and adolescents should also refrain from taking the oil.