In the oldest of traditions, it is seen as a powerful ward against evil spirits and magic, and has been used in this way as a component in exorcism rituals, as well as in spells of ritual protection. It is also often said that St. John's Wort also has the power to instill courage and invisibility, and is a powerful aid in spells of divination. In driving away evil spirits, it is also said to aid in alleviating depression and sorrow.
Modern studies have explored St. John's Wort and found it to be a significant aid in treating depression. Results even indicated that it was potentially as useful as standard antidepressant medications while possessing less of the side effects. Because of this, it is also sometimes used in treating alcoholism. There is also some speculation that it can be used to ease the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Herbalists of old have also applied St. John's Wort to the healing of wounds, and the treatment of colds, insomnia, and headaches.