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St. John’s Wort Leaves and Flowers

The leaves and flowers of St. John’s Wort are used as medical purpose today for mild and moderate depression treatment.

St. John’s wort is a woody, invasively spreading perennial that reaches 2 feet and has an aroma reminiscent of turpentine. Its leaves are dotted with glands that produce a red oil. Its striking star-shaped flowers bloom bright yellow in summer. They also contain the leaf oil, and when pinched, turn red.

Hypericum perforatum (St. John’sWort)

St. John’sWort (Hypericum perforatum)

St. John’s wort is best propagated from root divisions in spring or fall. It grows in almost any well-drained soil under full sun or partial shade. Contain the herb to control its spread. Although it is a perennial, St. John’s wort is not particularly long lived. Replant it every few years.

Harvest the leaves and flower tops as the plants bloom. Dry them and store in airtight containers.

Here are some examples how to useSt. John’s Wort Leaves and flowers

An infusion or tea is made by pouring one pint of boiling water over1 oz(28 g) of dried herb, or2 oz(57 g) of fresh, minced flower and leaf. Steep in a glass or enamel pot for five to 10 minutes. Strain and cover. Drink the tea warm. A general dose is one cupful, up to three times daily.

An oil extract can be purchased commercially or prepared by combining fresh flowers and leaves of St. John’s wort in a glass jar and sunflower or olive oil. Seal the container with an airtight lid and leave on a sunny windowsill for four to six weeks, shaking daily. The oil will absorb the red pigment. Strain through muslin or cheesecloth, and store in a dark container. The medicinal oil will maintain its potency for two years or more. This oil makes a good rub for painful joints, varicose veins, muscle strain, arthritis, and rheumatism. Used in a compress it can help to heal wounds and inflammation, and relieve the pain of deep bruising.

A tincture is prepared by combining one part fresh herb to three parts alcohol (50% alcohol/water solution) in glass container. Set aside in dark place, shaking the mixture daily for two weeks. Strain through muslin or cheesecloth, and store in dark bottle. The tincture should maintain potency for two years. Standard dosage, unless otherwise prescribed, is 0.24-1 tsp added to8 oz(237 ml) of water, up to three times daily.

An ointment is made by warming 2 oz(59 ml) of prepared oil extract in double boiler. Once warmed, 1 oz(28 g) of grated beeswax is added and mixed until melted. Pour into a glass jar and cool. The ointment can be stored for up to one year. The remedy keeps best if refrigerated after preparation. The ointment is useful in treating burns, wounds, and soothing painful muscles.

Please talk with your healthcare provider irst before you take any herbal supplements.

More information about St. John’s Wort




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December 2018
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