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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published online by De Gruyter December 3, 2021

Trends in the St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) research literature: a bibliometric analysis

Jeremy Y. Ng ORCID logo EMAIL logo



St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) has been used in traditional medicine for centuries for different conditions, including kidney and lung ailments, insomnia, depression, and to aid wound healing. The objective of the present bibliometric analysis is to capture the characteristics of research publications on the topic of St. John’s wort.


Searches were run on April 09, 2021, and results were exported on the same day to prevent discrepancies between daily database updates. Trends associated with this subset of publications were identified and presented. Bibliometric networks were constructed and visualized using the software tool VOSviewer.


A total of 1,970 publications were published by 5,849 authors across 961 journals from 1859 to 2021. Beginning in the late 1990s, a steep increase was found in the volume of publication on this topic. The journal that published the largest number of publications was Phytotherapy Research. The most productive countries included Germany and the United States.


The present study provides the characteristics of the St. John’s wort literature that allows understanding of the past, present, and future of research in this area. It is a useful evidence-based framework on which to base future research actions and academic directions.

Corresponding author: Jeremy Y. Ng, Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Michael G. DeGroote Centre for Learning and Discovery, Room 2112, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1, Canada, E-mail:

Funding source: McMaster University


JYN was awarded a Research Scholarship and an Entrance Scholarship from the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact, Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University.

  1. Research funding: None declared.

  2. Author contributions: JYN: designed and conceptualized the study, collected and analysed data, drafted the manuscript, and gave final approval of the version to be published.

  3. Competing interests: The author declares that they have no competing interests.

  4. Ethics approval: This study involved a bibliometric analysis of the literature only; it did not require ethics approval or consent to participate.


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Received: 2021-09-12
Accepted: 2021-11-21
Published Online: 2021-12-03

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