What is Centaury Oil (St. John's Wort Oil)? Benefits & Side Effects

What is Centaury Oil (St. John's Wort Oil)? Benefits & Side Effects

What is St. John's Wort Grass?

St. John's Wort (Hypericum Perforatum) is a plant with bright yellow flowers native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa. Its flowers and leaves contain active ingredients such as hyperforin and hypericin, which have proven effective in treating depression. It has been used in traditional medicine for almost 3,000 years to treat many diseases, including neuralgic conditions, psychiatric problems, and wounds. Today it is an essential part of teas, tablets, and topical preparations.

What is Centaury Oil (St. John's Wort Oil)?

Centaury oil is obtained from the flowers of the centaury plant by steam distillation. It is a thin oil and has a fruity-spicy aroma. This healing oil is used in the manufacture of shampoos, skin care products, and bath products. It is also traditionally used to treat joint pains, skin problems, aging symptoms, inflammation, trauma, and superficial wounds.

The difference between yellow and red centaury oil

There are two different colors of centaury oil. They are red and yellow. The red oil is obtained from the fresh flowers of the plant, and the yellow oil is obtained from the dried flowers. However, the usage areas of both oils are generally the same.

How is Centaury Oil Made?

To make centaury oil;

  • Collect St. John's Wort grass in sunny weather.
  • Crush the flowers you collect softly.
  • Then put the crushed flowers in a jar and add extra virgin olive oil. If you use it to treat burns, you can add flaxseed oil instead of olive oil.
  • Cover the mouth of this prepared mixture with cheesecloth and place it in the sun for about one month, and stir occasionally.
  • Strain the oil with cheesecloth and preferably put it in a dark-colored jar and close it.
  • Centaury oil should be stored in a cool and dark environment. If you keep it in suitable conditions, it will last 2-3 years without losing effect.

Centaury Oil Benefits

Centaury oil in the treatment of hemorrhoids

Hypericin and flavonoids contained in centaury oil can reduce itching, burning, and pain caused by hemorrhoids. You can directly apply the diluted centaury oil mixed with jojoba oil or skincare creams to the affected area to treat external and internal hemorrhoids. Or, if you are applying a sitting bath in hot water during the treatment, you can drop 1-2 drops of centaury oil into the water. However, you should consult your doctor first.

Pain relief feature of centaury oil

Swollen and inflamed joints and excruciating pain are the predominant symptoms of rheumatism and arthritis. The anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect of centaury oil can help relieve pain caused by arthritis and rheumatism.

It can also treat muscle aches, bruises, sprains, tennis elbow, nerve disorders, stiff, aching joints, varicose pains. You can mix it with coconut oil and massage the sore areas.

Accelerates the healing of wounds and burns

Centaury oil has antibacterial properties that help kill bacteria, germs, and other harmful organisms that slow the healing of wounds and other skin infections. In addition, thanks to the flavonoids and tannins it contains, it accelerates the healing of wounds and burns, including sunburn, when applied topically to the affected areas.

Effective in insect bites

Centaury oil is also effective in insect-fly bites and bee stings. Thanks to its soothing effect, it provides quick relief and reduces itching or pain.

Centaury oil for fibromyalgia, menopause, and premenstrual troubles

These three ailments often cause sharp pain, interrupt the body’s normal functioning, and are primarily seen in women (fibromyalgia is also seen in 90% of women).

Studies show that massage with centaury oil is good for emotional distress and physical ailments such as cramps, nausea, and breast tenderness in premenstrual syndrome. You can also use it for anxiety and mood swings during menopause and to treat muscle and tissue pain associated with fibromyalgia.

However, it is recommended to mix centaury oil with a thinning oil such as sesame oil before massaging. Or you can relax by dripping 1-2 drops into warm bathwater.

How to use Centaury Oil?

  • In general, it is recommended to apply centaury oil externally with a massage.
  • Do not use the oil on the eyes or mucous membranes.
  • Before using topically to test for allergic effects or skin sensitivity, apply a small amount of the oil to the inside of your arm and cover it with a bandage. If you feel any irritation, wash the area immediately. If there is no irritation within 48 hours, you can use it safely on your skin.
  • You can mix it with a diluting oil and massage the painful area for rheumatic pains and muscle pains.
  • In treating hemorrhoids, you can apply it directly to the hemorrhoid area, or you can drip 1-2 drops into the water to treat sitting in hot water.
  • You can apply it directly to wounds or burns (including sunburn) but stay away from sunlight for a while after applying it. The hypericin in the oil may cause photosensitizing effects on the skin when in contact with sunlight.
  • You can apply it directly to insects, fly bites, or bee stings. You can also apply a paste made from centaury oil and bentonite clay to the bee sting.

Centaury Oil Side Effects

  • May cause a skin rash when used topically.
  • It can increase your skin's sensitivity to sunlight. If you have a condition such as lupus or are taking medications that may cause sun sensitivity (such as some acne medications), talk to your doctor or pharmacist before using St. John's Wort oil.
  • Sometimes it can cause allergic effects.