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[mass noun] A substance found in St John's wort, credited with chemical and pharmacological properties similar to those of antidepressants.
- ‘St.John's Wort contains hypericin, which inhibits monoamine oxidase, a chemical associated with depression.’
- ‘In addition to its photodynamic properties, hypericin is also hydrophobic and binds to a variety of cell and enveloped virus membranes.’
- ‘Today, St. John's wort standardized to 0.3% hypericin easily outsells its pharmaceutical rival, Prozac, and its derivatives.’
- ‘The two compounds considered important in the plant's anti-depressant activity are hypericin and hyperforin.’
- ‘The antitumor properties of St. John's wort are attributed to hypericin, which is a powerful photosensitizer.’
Early 20th century: from hypericum + -in.
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