St John's Wort Benefits for Dogs

Saint-John's Wort
Saint-John's Wort
Hypericum perforatum
(St. John's Wort family)

St John's wort contains compounds which include hypericin, essential oils, flavonoids, and tannins.

Perhaps St John's wort is most well known for its antidepressant properties. This herb has been widely used to treat people with mild to moderate depressive disorders and the results are comparable to those of synthetic antidepressants.

In addition, St John's wort is antiviral and antibacterial. Used topically and in oral tinctures, this herb has wound-healing functions.

It has also been found that this herb can prevent tumor cell growth and induce tumor cell death.

Common Uses in Dogs

As this herb is most famous for its antidepressive property, both in humans and animals, St John's wort benefits dogs with anxiety disorders, such as separation anxiety, and agressive disorders.

However, this herb has a lot more to offer in terms of holistic healing.

Specifically, it is a good choice for the treatment of minor injuries such as bites and stings. It speeds up the healing process and at the same time reduces pain. For first aid purpose, a salve or tincture can be applied directly to the wound, or alternatively, the tincture can be fed internally.

Thanks to its healing properties, St John's wort can also be used on dogs with arthritis - it can ease pain and speeds the healing process, especially of damaged nerves.

Due to its antiviral property, the herb is also an excellent choice for treatment of various forms of viral infections.

Make an All-Purpose Skin Oil for Your Dog

This skin oil is easy to make and is recommended for dogs with skin conditions, minor burns and cuts, paw pad irritations, and so on.

Use any combination of the dried herbs of St John's wort, calendula, and comfrey. Put the herbs in a jar and cover the herbs with olive oil, filling the jar to the top. Seal the jar tightly and leave the jar in the hot summer sun for several weeks before straining.

Precautions

This herb is relatively safe except, in rare cases, some animals can develop a photosensitive rash from its use.

References
J.A. Duke, The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook: Your Comprehensive Reference to the Best Herbs for Healing (Rodale Books, 2000).
C.J. Puotinen, Natural Remedies for Dogs and Cats (Keats Publishing, 1999).
R. Kidd, Dr. Kidd's Guide to Herbal Dog Care (Storey Publishing, 2000).
M.L. Wulff-Tilford and G.L. Tilford, Herbs for Pets (Bowtie Press, 1999).