St. John's Wort (Hyperici herba)

Published December 5, 1984; Revised March 13, 1990.
List of German Commission E Monographs (Phytotherapy)


Name of Drug

Hyperici herba, St. John's Wort.

Composition of Drug

St. John's Wort consists of the dried, above-ground parts of Hypericum perforatum L. [Fam. Hypericaceae], gathered during flowering season, as well as their preparations in effective dosage.



Psychovegetative disturbances, depressive moods, anxiety and/or nervous unrest. Oily hypericum preparations for dyspeptic complaints. External:

Oily hypericum preparations for treatment and post-therapy of acute and contused injuries, myalgia and first-degree burns. Contraindications None known.

Side Effects

Photosensitization is possible, especially in fair-skinned individuals.

Interactions with Other Drugs

None known.


Unless otherwise prescribed:

Average daily dosage for internal use:

2 - 4 g of drug or 0.2 - 1 mg of total hypericin in other forms of drug application. Mode of Administration Chopped herb, herb powder, liquid and solid preparations for internal use. Liquid and semi-solid preparations for external use. Preparations made with fatty oils for external and internal use.


A mild antidepressant action of the herb and its preparations has been observed and reported by numerous physicians. According to experimental observation, hypericin can be categorized among the MAO inhibitors. Oily hypericum preparations demonstrate an antiinflammatory action.

Ed. note: The research suggesting MAO activity was experimental and not conducted in animal systems. Subsequent research has indicated either no or very slight MAO activity in St. John's Wort or its preparations.]. -->