Herbs, Plants, Trees and Roots | July, 2011


Most notably known as a treatment for depression, St. John’s Wort has been found affective in all areas associated with PMS. St. John’s Wort oil is used externally for the treatment of wounds, abrasions, and first degree burns. Capsules or tablets are the popular method for ingesting this herb due to the very bitter taste. However, a tea can be brewed and honey added to lessen the bitterness.


St. John’s Wort

SCIENTIFIC NAME:
(Hypericum perforatum)

Native to the temperate and sub-tropical regions of North America, Europe, Turley, Russia, India and China, there are over 350 species of the Hypericum worldwide. St. John’s wort is a perennial plant with erect stems that can grow 3 feet tall. Its leaves are oblong and narrow and are a yellowish green color with transparent dots that are in fact, oil glands. Sometimes a few blood red almost black dots can be found on the underside of the leaf. From June until September, clusters of five pedaled, bright yellow flowers with black dots on the margins and many yellow stamens bloom. Before flowers or seed pods open, a reddish/purple liquid is produced when crushed. The fruit is a three celled capsule containing small, dark brown seeds. The whole plant has a turpentine-like odor.



Common Names:

Amber, Goatweed, Hypericum, Johnswort, Klamath weed, Rosin Rose, St. John’s Grass, Tipton Weed



St. John’s Wort

Uses:

Most notably known as a treatment for depression, St. John’s Wort has been found affective in all areas associated with PMS. St. John’s Wort oil is used externally for the treatment of wounds, abrasions, and first degree burns. Capsules or tablets are the popular method for ingesting this herb due to the very bitter taste. However, a tea can be brewed and honey added to lessen the bitterness.


Applications:

Tea:
Add 1 tsp. dried St. John’s Wort to 1 cup of boiling water and let steep 5 minutes. Drink while warm.

Capsule:
Follow the directions on the bottle.

Oil:
Put flowers in a jar with olive or almond oil, put lid on jar and place in a warm sunny location for 7 to 9 weeks. Shake the contents at least every week. Once the oil has turned red, strain the oil. Allow the oil to rest and check for water on top of the oil. Siphon off any water and store oil in a dark airtight container. Date the container and label it. Oil should keep up to 2 years.


Warnings:

You should check with your doctor before using this or any herb, especially if you are taking any medications, are pregnant, nursing, under the age of 12 years or over the age of 60 years. This herb is not recommended for long term use. This herb may make ones skin and eyes sensitive to light. Contact dermatitis can be caused by pruning or gathering the plant so it is advised that you wear gloves and long sleeves when working with the plant.

With any herb, there is the risk of an allergic reaction. Small children and pregnant women should use additional caution when considering the use of herbal remedies.