Perennial flower 30-90 cm (1-3 ft.) tall. Petals are yellow with black spots on edges, usually in groups of five. Stamens are also yellow and are found in bushy clusters. Flowers from June through October
Found in waste areas and open fields. Very common. Ranges throughout North America.
Parts used and Uses:
Leaves contain antidepressant compounds that regulate levels of dopamine, interleukins, melatonin, monoamine-oxides, and serotonin.
Used fresh in olive oil as a treatment for external ulcers, wounds, cuts, and bruises. Flower tea is folk remedy for bladder problems, worms, dysentery, and diarrhea.
St John's Wort outsells Prozac 20-to-1 in Germany. Contains compounds such as hypericin and pseudohypericin which may have anti-retroviral activity and are being researched for AIDS effectiveness. Not proven effective treatment for severe depression, and internal or external use may cause skin to be extra sensitive to light.