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St. John's Wort
Although several species of hypericum are known as Wort, this is the one most used in herbal medicine. Wort is a perennial herb native to and most famous for its use as a mood enhancer. Reaching 1-3 feet in height, this plant is said to be effective against depression and anxiety while also reportedly having the ability to reduce alcohol cravings. It has been used for menstrual disorders and to heal wounds. It also has possible antiviral and antibacterial properties. The use of Wort as a medicinal herb dates back to the ancient Greeks. It gets its name because it was traditionally hung above pictures to ward off evil on day. The name hypericum actually refers to the Greek words “hyper” and “eikon”, which translate into “above” “image”. Despite its utility in humans, the plant is poisonous to livestock. It is also an MAOI, which means it can easily interact with medications and certain foods.