ST. JOHN’S WORT OR PLANT.
(Hypericum-“The ancient name, of unknown derivation” Millspaugh).
This naturalized weed. which derives its specific name from the fact that the “transparent dots” common to the leaves of most of the species are in it peculiarly conspicuous, so as to give the lead the appearance of being perforated. It is an ancient drug, being mentioned by some of the earliest writers upon materia medica, who assigned to it many a supposed virtue. Later the people gathered it for its imaginary powers, but it was not until it was proved by Dr. Geo. F. Mueller of Germany, that its real value as a medicine was determined.
“Hypericum,” says Allen (N. A. Jour. Hom., May’94), “has been used since the dawn of medicine; Hippocrates esteemed it as one of his chief remedies; Paracelsus declared that he preferred it to all the compounds of the apothecaries; but for the last century it has gradually disappeared from view, to reappear within a few years, mainly from the saying of Dr. Ludlam that it is a remedy for bruised nerves as arnica is for bruised muscles.”.
While the principal condition in which we use the remedy is for the results following injuries to nerves, recent or remote, the symptoms arising from such injury may be almost innumerable.
It is to be thought of for mashed, lacerated, gunshot and penetrating wounds from pointed instruments, especially in parts rich in nerves, for example, the fingers and toes and vertebral region.
Hering says: “It prevents lockjaw from wounds in soles of feet, or of fingers and palms of hands.” It is also to be thought of in tetanus (189).
Hypericum has a severe headache on vertex, with a feeling as if the whole head would burst. It also has a sensation, which Allen (Trans. A. I. H. ’94) says no other remedy has, as if the head were becoming elongated upward or extending upward like a conical hat.
It is of value in concussion of the brain and spine and in injuries to the coccyx (34), and some of the symptoms, in the former condition which were cured by the remedy, were in one case, stiffness of extremities, chilliness, diarrhoea from any excitement, nervous cough and asthmatic breathing, worse before a storm.
It has proved of value in spasmodic asthma (21) associated with sensitiveness of the spine, with marked aggravation in a fog, not necessarily in damp weather.
Many cases of chronic neuritis have yielded to this remedy, whether.
In general, excessive painfulness and soreness of the affected part will be important symptoms calling for Hypericum.
There is apt to be an aggravation of the pains before a storm and during damp weather (9).
I use Hypericum 6th.