Hypericum: The Great First-Aid Remedy

Words: Dr Deborah OLENEV 

Hypericum perforatum [St John’s wort] is one of my ‘favourite’ homeopathic remedies, because when you need it, it doesn’t disappoint you. When you have had that unfortunate mishap, of let’s say shutting your finger in the car door, for example, or dropping a brick on your foot, you know that you can count on Hypericum for that much-needed instant relief.

I have three Hypericum stories to relate to you, which will drive home the power of this remedy to relieve.

Hypericum is for injuries to areas of the body that are rich in sentient nerves, such as the fingers, toes, and the spinal cord.


One of my most memorable experiences with this remedy was an unfortunate incident that happened on my daughter’s sixth birthday. One of the children there slammed the bedroom door really hard, and it nearly severed the tip of my son’s index finger. He was a toddler at the time.

The first thing I did was give him Arnica montana, but it did not help. Then I got out Kent’s Materia Medica and it directed me to Hypericum. I gave him a 30C dose of the remedy and within moments he had no pain, and was actually playing and quite happy. We then rushed him to the hospital, where he had surgery to reattach the crushed and torn fingertip. Unfortunately, the Hypericum prevented the anaesthesia from working. I subsequently learned that you should not give Hypericum prior to surgery for just this reason. Arnica should be given instead to minimise the trauma of surgery. My son’s finger proceeded to heal beautifully. I dressed the wound with Calendula officinalis and Hypericum ointments. Now I have another little boy and not infrequently, he will shut a drawer on his finger and the Hypericum cream brings him prompt relief from the pain.


The next Hypericum story I wish to relate is of a man, I met a few years ago, who was in his late 50s. This man was a Vietnam veteran who served on the flight deck of a ship on the Coral Seas during the war. His job was to park the fighter planes and secure them. One of the planes ran over both of his feet, tearing off the skin and severely damaging them. He was told that the damage was so extensive that the only solution was amputation. This man was deeply spiritual and he prayed to god for help. His legs began to heal right away, and he was able to avoid amputation. I met him over thirty years later and he had been suffering from pain in the feet ever since then, with lack of sensation in the toes. He reported that the feet became really hot and inflamed, the pain radiated up and down his legs, and there was swelling involved. I gave him a 200C dose of Hypericum and within days of taking the remedy he reported to me that the feet were much better. This was a year-and-a-half ago and the remedy is still holding strong.  He only recently needed a repetition.


The last Hypericum story I want to relate is of a man in his 30s who came to see me recently following an accident where he was hit by an oncoming car and landed on his tailbone. This is his description of the accident.

“The car was coming down the hill. I was on my bike. The car was going 45 miles per hour. I hit the front. I flew up and landed on the top of his car with my back. The car kept on going. It was hit and run. Then I landed on the base of my spine on the cement. I must have been out for 15-20 seconds. Everything went blurry. Then I felt a shooting pain at the base of my spine. I knew that it was pretty serious. I could tell no bones were broken.

“The accident occurred on June 10th.  A day, or two, later I looked in the mirror. I had never seen bruises like this in my life. The whole base of my spine was black and blue and on my left side there was this really bad bruise. It was shocking to see that manifestation of the injury.”

I prescribed Hypericum 1M to this man instead of Arnica, because of the location of the injury, the tailbone, or coccyx, and the shooting pains extending from the sight of the injury. Hypericum is a specific for this type of injury. This is his report to me two weeks later about his response to the remedy: “The injury is doing very well. In fact, the day that I took the remedy it felt better.”

Here is a list of common uses for this remedy and also cream —

  1. First and foremost, Hypericum is to be thought of for injuries to areas rich in sentient nerves. If you have an injury to the hand, or foot, particularly the fingers and toes think of this remedy first. It is much more effective than Arnica for this kind of an injury
  2. Hypericum is the first remedy to be thought of for injuries to the coccyx, commonly known as the tailbone, and for spinal cord injuries in general
  3. Hypericum is one of the most important remedies for head injuries. It can be thought of for convulsions following head injuries and for loss of memory following head injuries
  4. Hypericum is known for shooting and lancinating pains along the course of the nerves extending from the sight of the injury. Crawling and numbness are other characteristics of this remedy. Think of it for numbness, or lack of sensation in sentient nerves following injury
  5. Think of Hypericum for wounds that are particularly painful. For very painful wounds I usually combine Hypericum with Calendula creams as a topical application
  6. Following childbirth, Hypericum can help if there has been a forceps delivery, and for bad effects of epidurals. Remember Hypericum for women who have had pain in the coccyx, or spine, since childbirth
  7. Hypericum can help with excessively painful haemorrhoids, and severe rectal, or anal pain. A little of the cream can bring quick relief
  8. Hypericum is very good for abdominal surgery. Think of it for pain after inguinal, or hiatal, hernia surgery, and for the pain of laparotomy. It is one of the remedies I include in the surgery packet
  9. Hypericum can be used as a first-aid cream for very painful boils, or abscesses, where there is no discharge of pus.If these are recurrent constitutional treatment will be necessary
  10. Hypericumand Ledum palustre are the first remedies to be thought of for animal, or insect bites. The two remedies prevent lock-jaw, or tetanus. Use Hypericum if there is shooting pain along the course of the nerves. Use Ledum if the injured part is better with ice-cold applications, and there are ascending pains. See Ledum for a further differential. Quoting from the great homeopathic teacher Dr James Tyler Kent, MD, “Hypericum and Ledum run close together, and they have to be compared. Ledum has much of the sore bruised feeling of Arnica and will often take its place; but, Hypericum and Ledum come together for consideration when an injury to a nerve has taken on inflammatory action. Instead of the muscles and bones and blood vessels, as in Arnica, Rhus toxicodendron and Calcarea carbonicum, the nerves are the sphere for these two remedies. When the finger ends, or toes, have been bruised, or lacerated, or a nail has been torn off, or when a nerve has become pinched between a hammer and the bone in a blow, and that nerve becomes inflamed and the pain can be traced up along the nerve, and it is gradually extending toward the body from the injured part with stitching, darting pains, coming and going, or shooting up from the region of the injury towards the body, a dangerous condition is coming on. In this condition Hypericum is above all the remedy to be thought of and hardly any other medicine is likely to come in. It hardly need be said that lock-jaw is threatening.”
  11. Mental effects, such as depression from injuries to the head, to the spine, to sentient nerves, or after operations
  12. Asthma following spinal cord injuries
  13. Hypericum can help with pain in the teeth to buy you time until you get to the dentist. If Hypericum does not help sufficiently, it may be better to go to Arnica, particularly after dental work. Arnica, or Hypericum, cream applied to the cheek in the area of the tooth pain is often sufficient to bring relief. 


As you can see from the above list of symptoms, Hypericum has a wide range of uses, some instances calling for the Hypericum cream, and some more suited to taking the remedy in potency. I would use the cream topically for painful wounds, injuries to the fingers and toes, painful haemorrhoids, and as a soothing application during labour. For all other conditions mentioned above, I would use the remedy in potency. Please consult a professional homeopath, or conventional physician, for serious conditions. 

Dr DEBORAH OLENEV, CCH, RSHom [NA], is a Classical Homeopath based in Mountain View, California, US. She treats people from all over the world via phone and video conferencing. Dr Olenev has had a passion for homeopathy for nearly forty years and has been in private practice since 1991. She has a vast knowledge of homeopathic Materia Medica, and integrates homeopathy with herbal medicine too. She is the owner of First Aid Cream, where she teaches about and sells homeopathic first-aid creams. She has several years of experience treating autistic children and people of all ages for all manner of health conditions.

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