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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 "Fireballs".
Paracelsus was one of the first doctors to research St. John's wort. However, where it had formerly been used for a plethora of magic incantations, 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.
St. John’s Wort’s Latin name is Hypericum perforatum, which derives from Greek, meaning “over a ghost,” referring to the belief that the herb was so offensive to evil spirits that the slightest whiff of it caused spirits to depart.
The legends surrounding this herb share a common theme. One legend based in folklore has it that red spots appeared on the leaves of the plant on the anniversary of John the Baptist’s decapitation, the spots being symbolic of his blood.