St. John’s Wort – Uses and Recipes

This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase through the link, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost for you.

St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum L.) is a herbaceous perennial plant native to temperate regions of Europe and Asia; today it is widespread throughout temperate regions worldwide.

It is a very well-known and potent medicinal plant. Keep reading to learn what is St. John’s wort used for, what are its benefits and how to make St. John’s wort tea and oil infusion with two easy recipes.

Picking St. John’s wort in nature

First, let’s learn how to identify St. John’s wort in order to successfully forage it in nature.

You will usually find St. John’s wort in sunny spots with dry soil. It can be on roadsides, near cities or parking lots, or on the edges of forests.

The plant’s branches and leaves are opposite-patterned. Its bright-yellow flowers have five oblong petals and many stamens in the centre. The edges of the St. John’s wort flower petals contain tiny black dots.

St. John’s wort can be easily distinguished from other species in the Hypericum genus because of its leaves that seem perforated (hence the species name perforatum) with glandular tissue which appears as small translucent dots.

St. John’s wort uses

Its use in traditional medicine has been known since ancient Greece. It has been used for a variety of indications, the most famous being anxiety, depression, skin burns and wounds.

Old folk stories say that it was also believed to protect humans from evil spirits.

Antidepressant properties of St. John’s wort have been scientifically studied and confirmed, while other medicinal properties are being researched. But even without scientific proof, the amazing effects of St. John’s wort on human health are indisputable and go much further than the above-mentioned.

How to use St. John’s wort?

1. Making a herbal infusion – St. John’s wort tea recipe

  • Put a teaspoon of dried herb into a cup of boiling water.
  • Remove it from the heat and let it sit covered for 15-30 minutes.
  • Drink 2-3 cups a day over the course of six weeks.

This infusion is used to treat depression, anxiety and neuralgia, and as a nerve tonic. It is also used to relieve symptoms of gastritis, menstrual and menopausal problems and to fight some bacterial infections.

When consumed before bedtime, it helps with relaxation and better sleep.

2. Making St. John’s wort oil infusion for skin

  • Fill a jar with fresh flowers/plant tips, loosely and without pressing.
  • Leave them like that for a few hours so as to lose some moisture.
  • Pour cold-pressed sunflower or coconut oil to cover all the herbal material.
  • Leave the jar in the sun for around 6 weeks (preferably shake it every day) and strain through a cotton cloth.

The oil with St. John’s wort flowers will turn bright red in colour. Finished infusion is an amazing remedy for treating burns and healing cuts and wounds more quickly and with less scar tissue.

St. John’s wort safety measures

St. John’s wort is an amazing medicinal plant. However, before using it either as tea or on the skin, you should be aware of a few things:

  • St. John’s wort has phototoxic properties, so its consumption (either orally or through the skin) should be avoided before exposure to direct sunlight.
  • St. John’s wort tea interacts with a number of pharmaceutical drugs, so if you are using any, it is a good idea to first get well-informed and find out if they can be combined.
  • The last is an important harvesting tip but I’ll put it here too: to get the proper concentrations of bioactive compounds, the herb should be collected in the summer, when in bloom.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *