from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A drug, C30H16O8, produced synthetically or as an extract of Saint John's wort and used as an antidepressant and antiviral agent.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. (medicine) A red-coloured anthraquinone derivative, extracted from St John's wort or prepared synthetically, used as an antidepressant and antiviral agent.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Latin hyperīcum, Saint John's wort (from Greek huperīkon, hupereikos : hup-, hupo-, under; see hypo- + ereikē, heath) + -in.


  • Although the results of these studies are promising, a synthetic form of hypericin is just now being tested on HIV-infected patients.

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  • Typical preparation and dose are 300 mg of the standardized (0.3 percent) hypericin (thought to be the active agent), three times per day with meals, for a total of 900 mg per day.

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  • Out of the ten products, seven contained between 75 percent and 135 percent of the labeled hypericin and three contained no more than half of the amount stated on the label.

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  • Standardized hypericin dosage is 400 mg of the extract, at 0.3 percent hypericin.

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  • Look for tablets or capsules standardized to 0.3 percent hypericin that also list content of hyperforin.

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  • The antidepressant or mood elevating effects of Hypericum perforatum were originally thought to be due solely to hypericin, but hypericin does not act alone, it relies on the complex interplay of many constituents such as xanthones and flavonoids for its antidepressant actions.

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  • Now proven to have many highly active compounds including rutin, pectin, choline, sitosterol, hypericin and pseudohypericin.

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  • The naphthodianthrones hypericin and pseudohypericin along with the Phloroglucinol derivative hyperforin are thought to be the active components.

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  • St Johns Wort can cause an increase in blood pressure because the hypericin ingredient that is similar to a MAO inhibitor, produces a powerful and dangerous reaction when mixed with the amino acid tyramine.

  • Studies have found that one of St Johns Wort抯 active ingredients, hypericin, affects neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) in a similar way as antidepressant The reason why the active ingredient is so effective is because it mirrors monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, which is the ingredient found in major antidepressant drugs.


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