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Mood imbalances, even in the most modest sense, can keep us from functioning at our best. St. Johnís Wort, a perennial extract that blooms from June to September has been shown to help support a positive, balanced mood state.*
By Joseph Zhou, Ph.D., Director of Lab Methods, NOW Foods
St. Johns Wort (SJW) is a perennial plant that has oval-shaped leaves and golden-yellow flowers. This plant has been used as an herbal remedy for many centuries. It is used to help heal wounds, as a balm for burns, a treatment of neuralgic conditions such as back pain, and also as a diuretic.. A renewed interest in SJW occurred during the past decade, and it is now a component of numerous herbal preparations for the treatment of anxiety and depression.
Let's look at the chemistry behind SJW. The anthraquinone derivatives hypericin and pseudohypericin are thought to be the two agents responsible for the psychoactive effects of this herb. In addition, a plethora of flavonoids with awful sounding names such as kaempferol, quercetin, quercitrin, isoquercitrin, amentoflavone, luteolin, myricetin, hyperin, hyperoside, and rutin, as well as hyperforin and adhyperforin are also present.
I am responsible for analytical chemistry at NOW Foods, and it is my job to ensure product quality by developing the right methods to analyze our products. So I would like to tell you more about the science behind the methods we use to ensure the quality of our products, and especially about SJW.
As with many natural products, there are a variety of analytical methods that can be used. We first look to official methods. DAC 86 is the older German Pharmaceutical Codex method, designed primarily to detect total hypericins in dried SJW herb material. A different method is DAC 90, which uses an analytical column to separate hypericin and pseudohypericin from the herbal material, and precisely quantify each of them.
The Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) International is currently in the process to establish an official method for SJW raw material and finished products. The method in consideration can analyze nine ingredients in SJW samples simultaneously. They are hypericin, pseudohypericin, hyperforin, rutin, quercetin, quercitrin, isoquercitrin, hyperoside, and I3,II8-biapigenin.
In order to make sure that we use the best methods available, we have adapted the DAC 90 HPLC method especially for our products, and now we are working on the AOAC method for the analysis of our SJW products. In this way, we work to continually ensure the quality of our products by using the most up-to-date methods available.
*Statements on this site have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products on this site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Prices are subject to change at anytime and without notice. The majority of the product information has been reprinted from the manufacturer.