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St John's Wort is a herb most of us have heard of, it's use for depression is widely known however as anti-depressants are also known for their pain killing properties it is now available in other forms than tablets such as this oil.
Anti-depressants work on the nerves in the body so nerve pain can be helped by them. This oil is advertised as being useful for nerve related pain such as neuralgia and sciatica and as I often get bouts of sciatic nerve pain due to my hypermobile pelvic joints I thought it would be worth a try.
When I get sciatica I get acute bouts that tend to correspond with how out of alignment my pelvis is, the muscles go crazy trying to stop further misalignment and stabilise the area and the piriformis muscle lies very close to the sciatic nerve so that's what usually sets mine off. A bout of sciatica leaves me unable to lift my right foot off the floor without a sharp shock of pain going down my leg and unable to bend forwards without the same result so it leaves me shuffling around like a zombie. Normally I massage the muscles in the hip and back to help the problem settle down followed by lots of laying flat on my back and painkillers until it calms down enough for me to walk properly again. The St John's Wort oil seemed like a good solution as I could use it to massage the area with and prayed it would reduce the pain.
A Vogel is a brand I trust for herbal remedies as they seem to contain a high amount of the herb in them and they also don't cost too much. This oil set me back £5 including p & p but I noticed it was also available for £7 plus p & p so it depends where you buy it. I bought mine on Amazon.
Inside the box is a 100ml bottle that looks like a giant essential oil bottle with a dropper in the top. Don't do what I did though and assume it comes out in drops and tip it over the sink to see, it pours out and I lost about about a quarter of the bottle down the sink in seconds doing that! The oil is a dark brown colour and can be applied without a carrier oil. Obviously any ill effects like a skin irritation and you should stop using it, it isn't suitable for women who are pregnant either and it is for external use only. Get it in your eyes and you need to rinse them quickly and don't use it in the mouth for anything in case you swallow some.
The dark brown oil smells like sour herbs, this is pretty normal for herbal remedies in any form so be prepared to smell a bit awful if you use this. As it is oil it won't wash out of clothing, I dropped a couple of drops onto a shirt and it hasn't washed out despite me using a pre-wash treatment on it so keep it away from clothing, bedding and carpets etc.
The all important thing though is does it work to help nerve pain. I had high hopes for this as I realised as a natural anti-depressant it could quite easily have similar properties to conventional anti-depressants. In other countries they produce anti-depressant creams because of this feature but here in the U.K they don't. A recent bout of sciatica had me reaching for this oil and applying it over the area (sparingly, as per the instructions) and waiting for some serious pain relief to happen.
I waited and waited and reapplied several times over the next couple of days but sadly this oil didn't make a difference to the duration or severity of my pain. I may as well have used my normal oil to massage the area so I was very disappointed to say the least.
Overall this didn't work for me, it made no difference to my pain at all. I can't give it more than 1 star I'm afraid because it didn't do what it claimed to but I do understand that my health issues don't respond to anything particularly well because I obviously can't get rid of the source of the nerve irritation because it's my loose joints. I would say if you don't have complicating factors to your nerve pain it probably is worth trying but for me it was a pointless exercise.