Rebecca's Herbal Apothecary and Supply

Common-St. John's Wort, Klammath Weed, Hypericum

Common-St. John's Wort
By Katie Browning

Latin Name
Hypericum perforatum; other species include H. forosum, H. scouleri Family-Hypericaceae

Parts Used
Flower (budding and open flower)

Identification
Herbaceous plant 2-3 ft. in height, leaves opposite and oval shaped, numerous flowers on the tips of stems, flowers bright, golden yellow that have tiny perforations (holes) in petals and stain fingers purple when squeezed. Blooms typically during late June (Summer Solstice/St. John the Baptist Day) and early July.

Medicinal Properties
Internally — St. John's Wort is a remedy that "Let's the sun shine in", it has gotten a huge reputation in the recent past for being a remedy for depression. However, traditionally St. John's Wort is for mild depression associated with outside influences such as S.A.D (Seasonal Affective Disorder), hormonal fluctuations as with PMS or emotional agitation due to chronic pain, not necessarily pathological depression. St. John's also works on the liver as a detoxifying agent and removes tension that accompanies liver congestion. It strengthens the nervous system especially through the solar plexus and aids in digestive function that may be impaired due to emotional distress. It has been used for chronic illness associated with chronic pain; and for painful, irregular menstrual periods that are accompanied by PMS, heaviness and pain. The anti-microbial and anti-viral properties of St. John's Wort have been used for influenza, TB and other viral outbreaks and has also been researched for HIV and AIDs due to it's anti-retro-viral activity. As an energetic remedy or flower essence Hypericum is said to "heal the holes in people". By serving as a strong protector St. John's Wort brings light to people who are sensitive and prone to fear, psychic attack, disturbed dreams or night terrors, and are overloaded with processing energetic information. Especially for those who feel things in their abdomen or solar plexus area.

Externally — Specific for neuralgia (nerve pain), myalgia, sciatica with sharp, shooting pain and inflammation, Hypericum is also superb for the topical relief of Shingles and Herpes simplex (cold sores), as it contains anti-viral compounds. St. John's is considered "wound medicine" classically having to do with wounds that are inflicted by sharp objects (needles, knifes, etc...). It is great for abrasions, skin ulcerations, boils, mild to moderate burns (stimulates granulary and capillary regeneration), muscle pain and joint or tissue inflammation. Use infused oil, wash, soak or compress.

Contra-indications — DO NOT USE during Pregnancy, with pre-existing Liver conditions, with pharmaceutical MAOI's or Birth control pills. Also, there is research that taken in large doses St. John's Wort can cause sensitivity to the sun...pale skin types use caution.

Preparations & Applications
Tincture — Fresh flower 1:2 use 20-30 drops 3x daily or homeopathic (drop) doses 3-5 drops for energetic uses.
Infusion (tea) — Dried flower. 1 tbsp. per 1 cup water, steep 15+ min. covered, strain and drink.
Infused Oil — Fresh Plant (in budding stage) in Olive Oil. Use 1tsp-1 tbsp and apply externally to effected area.
Flower Essence — Use 1-3 drops 3-5 times a day in water or sub-lingually (under tongue) as needed.

Recipes
Feel Whole Massage & Bath Oil: for emotional protection or nerve pain
1/2 oz. St. John's Wort Infused Oil
1/2 oz. Yarrow Infused Oil
3 drops Yarrow Essential Oil
3 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
3 drops Cedarwood Essential Oil

Spiritual Bath
Equal parts of the following herbs:
St. John's Wort, Wood Betony, Yarrow, Rue & Calendula
Instructions: Use a handful of the combined herbs and place in a large jar. Pour water over herbs and steep in the sun (like a sun tea) for a full day. Strain and use the infusion (with your intention) in a bath or pour unstrained over body outside.

Sources:
Book of Herbal Wisdom by Matthew Wood
The Complete Floral Healer by Anne McIntyre
Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West by Michael Moore
Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West by Michael Moore

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