[History of St. Johns wort]

Praxis (Bern 1994). 2000 Dec 14;89(50):2102-9.
[Article in German]


St.-John's wort owes its name to the fact that it flowers at the time of the summer solstice on or around St. John's day on 24 June. Having been administered as a remedy by the Roman military doctor Proscurides as early as the 1st century AD, it was mainly used for magic potions during the Middle Ages. It was not only used to protect humans and animals against witches, demons and evil diseases, but it was also added to the fire when moulding "Freikugel" [1]. Paracelsus was one of the first doctors to concern themselves with St.-John's wort. However, where it had formerly been used for a plethora of indications, in more recent times it has found its place in the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. In numerous clinical double-blind trials against placebo and other antidepressants the whole extract of St.-John's wort, e.g. as in Jarsin coated tablets, has proved to be just as effective as the other antidepressants for mild and moderate depression, but not for severe depression.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Complementary Therapies / history*
  • Europe
  • History, 15th Century
  • History, 16th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, Ancient
  • History, Medieval
  • Humans
  • Hypericum*
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plants, Medicinal*