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January Herb of Month - St John's Wort

St John’s Wort is our first Herb of the Month for 2021. I chose this plant because it is a bright and sunny plant. It is well known for its antidepressant uses. Folklore shows this plant protecting us and bringing us out of darkness which is why I feel it's an excellent choice to start off the new year with.

St John’s Wort can be found in our First Aid Salve (Previously SSS-Stings, Scrapes, Sprains Salve). The wound care qualities as well as, the antimicrobial and antiviral properties make it an excellent first aid options for minor cuts, scrapes, stings and sprains.


St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)


Synonyms:

John’s Wort, Goatweed, Klamath weed, Rosin Rose and Tipton’s weed.


Description:

St John’s wort is a perennial with a woody stem and creeping root. St. John’s Wort is a friendly looking plant that tends to creep on the ground the first year then stands tall the next and when full grown can be 1-3 ft tall.

The leaves are opposite, oval and obtuse. The leaves have a perforated look and you can see this when you hold one up to the sunlight. This plant gets many bright yellow flowers with five petals.


This plant grows well in zones 5-9 and is winter hardy, however I have grown it successfully from seed in Prince George and it has survived the winters untouched.


Parts Used:

Herb top (usually the top 6 inches), Flowers



Actions/Uses:

I commonly use his plant topically in a first aid salve and as a flower essence however, there are many other uses for this plant. When the flowers are picked at their peak they are macerated in alcohol or oil and left in the heat of the sun where the liquid quickly turns a bright red (this can be seen by rubbing the black dots on the sepal between your fingers).

St John’s Wort has been widely used as an antidepressant and is probably most commonly known for this. This plant has also been used for insomnia, open wounds and burns.

St John’s Wort is astringent. This makes it great for a topical treatment to wounds and burns. It also has antimicrobial and antiviral properties.


Folklore:

St John’s Wort dates back to ancient Europe, where this plant had a reputation of warding off evil spirits, curing curses and fixing negative effects of dark magic. This friendly plant is commonly associated with nature spirits, fairies and other small mythical forest creatures. In ancient Greece it was prescribed by physicians like Hippocrates as a herbal remedy to fight insanity. Even back then it was used to treat wounds and cuts and was often brought with crusaders on their missions.


Flower Essence:

St John’s Wort as a flower essence helps people who feel vulnerable. It has been used to improve sleep and dream quality and used to help with fears and insecurities. As an essence it good on it's own or in a combination of other essences.





Cautions:

Hypericin has been shown to cause a photosensitivity in some animals.

*As a flower essence St. John’s Wort can be safely used as there is no plant material in flower essence.

I encourage you will make space in your garden for this low maintenance plant. It is a friendly and cheery plant that brighten your yard for years.

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