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Herb Spotlight - St. John's Wort

Saint John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

Family: Hypericaceae

Part Used: Aerial Parts

Flavor/Aroma: Sweet; Bitter

Energetics: Warming; Drying


Herbal Actions: 

Vulnerary, Anti Inflammatory, Nervine2, Thymoleptic, Anxiolytic, Antimicrobial, Antiviral, Carminative, Anodyne, Anti Insomnia, Diuretic, Astringent, Sedative, Hepatoprotective, Neuro Trophorestorative1

Overview:

The cheerful, yellow blooms of the Saint John's Wort plant are a subtle indicator to the uplifting energy and joyful essence this aromatic herb possesses. It has been utilized for centuries, by the ancient Greeks and European medicalists, for a variety of therapeutic uses ranging from emotional disorders to wound healing. Saint John's Wort has found itself highly useful in pharmacopoeias worldwide.

Botany:

Saint John’s Wort is a woody, perennial herb that’s preferred habitat is disturbed, well drained soil. It grows with vibrant, long leaves, and its flowers are yellow and plenty. Each bloom has black dots in its center, that when touched express as a red pigment on the skin. Saint John's Wort is an aromatic herb, especially when aerial parts are rubbed together or against the skin, releasing the herbs sunny fragrance.2

Cultivation and Harvesting:

Saint John’s Wort is native to Europe, North Africa, and Western regions of Asia, and is naturalized in much of Australia and the Americas. The flowering tops and leaves of St. John’s Wort are best harvested with care in the summer when they are fully expressed and the most potent, but be vigilant because this herb is only in bloom for a very short few weeks.

Southern Oregon Cultivation:

Saint John's Wort can be found growing prolifically in stands across the Willamette Valley and Southern Oregon regions. It prefers mountain sides, along hiking trails, and other sun-filled, open spaces. It will easily grow in meadows and pastures, invited pollinators and foragers alike to experience it’s sweet pollen and heart medicine. Saint John’s Wort is in bloom only for a short time and it's intoxicating fragrance attracts many to this highly therapeutic botanical.

History and Folklore: 

American Native Uses: Many tribes utilized this powerful herbal remedy to relieve insect bites and stings, burns and rashes, aid in the healing of wounds, and to soothe muscle aches and pains. It is also a well known remedy used to treat hysteria and emotional depressed states. Many used this plant for cramps and digestive upsets as well.3

During the times when witches were being unrightfully burned, handfuls of Saint Johns Wort flowers were shoved into the mouths of the speculated witches in hopes of a confessions to their use of black magic.  

European Medicinal Uses: Saint John's Wort was popularly implemented to treat bronchial inflammation, sleep disorders such as insomnia, and as a popular antidepressant.  

Modern Applications:

Saint John’s Wort is indicated to support a variety of skeletal-muscular disturbances including inflammation of the connective tissues, general myalgia, and atrophic tissue states. It is also used to remedy depression and anxious patterns4, restlessness and irritability, and nervous excitement. The active constituent, Hypericin, contributes greatly to the antidepressant and relaxant actions of this herbal medicine.1,5

Uses and Preparations:

 

Dried Herb Tea Preparation: 

1 Tablespoon of herb per cup of warm water.

Using a reusable tea bag or tea ball, immerse the loose dried herbs into boiling water and allow to steep for 5-10 minutes, preferably covered, in order to release the maximum amount of herbal goodness. Some herbal tea can carry a strong flavor. We recommend organic honey as a sweetener which preserves the beneficial herbal compounds. 

Tincture: 

2-4 mL up to 4 times per day.

Some herbal tinctures can have a strong flavor on their own. Adding your tincture to a glass of 6-8oz of water is one easy way to help, should you wish to dilute the flavor.  

Note:

It is important to remember that some bodies may react differently than others when using herbal products. Our recommended usage amounts are designed to be an average dosage only. If you have specific concerns about the dosage amount or interaction with other medication, please consult with your doctor or health care practitioner prior to using our products.  

Recommended Usage:

It is important to remember that some bodies may react differently than others when using herbal products. Our recommended usage amounts are designed to be an average dosage only. If you have specific concerns about the usage amount or interaction with other medication, please consult with your doctor or health care practitioner prior to using our products.

Sun God Medicinals products that contain Saint John’s Wort:

Ra Herbals Saint John’s Wort Tincture

Organic Aja Joint Hemp Salve

Hypnos Loss of Sleep Herbal Tea

Heka Anxiety & Stress Herbal Tea

Organic Aja Relief Hemp Pet Oil

 

Precautions:

We recommend consulting with your practitioner if you are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant, or if you are using any other medications. Please consult with a medical professional if you are on or have taken and antidepressant or sleep-aide type pharmaceuticals or supplements, as Saint John's Wort may affect their potency and absorption. Photosensitivity may be possible, especially in fair skinned people.

References:

  1. Saint John’s Wort. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://cms.herbalgram.org/loginSuccess.html?cons_id=1759540&targetPage=http://cms.herbalgram.org/expandedE/StJohn27swort.html&ts=1572631344&signature=48435722910cd5aa104bbb5a6b2e7b90 
  2. Hypericum.-St. John's Wort. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/kings/hypericum.html 
  3. St Johns Wort Side Effects. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://nativeamericanherbalism.com/headaches-migranes/st-johns-wort/ 
  4. St. John's Wort and Depression: In Depth. (2018, January 4). Retrieved from https://nccih.nih.gov/health/stjohnswort/sjw-and-depression.htm
  5. Klemow, K. M. (1970, January 1). Medical Attributes of St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92750/ 

    For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.