Organic Emily

Medicinal Herb – St. John’s Wort

St. John's Wort plant

Medicinal Herb Post #15 written June 19, 2018

St. John’s Wort – Hypericum perforatum

This beautiful plant is easy to grow and has been valued for its many medicinal qualities for hundreds of years. As a perennial, it loves the sun and somewhat dry soil so it is a great place to grow here in Utah. It self sows easily by seed. I’m always sharing baby plants with friends. The medicine is found within the flower buds just before they open. I gather daily from the middle of June through August or September. The leaf is also medicinal, but not as strong.

I like making a solar infused oil with the fresh buds. The medicine is pulled into the olive oil making it a beautiful ruby red color. Then I use it in a skin salve later. It has great properties for soothing burns, bruises, sprains, and other injuries. It not only relieves pain but also increases tissue repair faster.

St. John’s Wort has been known for its effective ability to help with mild depression, anxiety, stress, tension, nerve damage and seasonal depression. However, it does take 2 to 3 weeks to take effect. Herbs contain many different constituents, one of those constituents of St. John’s Wort is that it increases melatonin, dopamine and serotonin, which aids the body’s ability to receive and store light so all the feel good hormones stay and circulate through the body longer helping to relieve depression etc. Note that it can cause sensitivity to the sun if used for long periods of time.

It contains antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. I use it in a salve for external use and a tincture for internal use for cold sores, shingles and other herpes infections along with lemon balm, calendula and licorice root (tincture). The tincture could also be used for anxiety and depression as well.

It’s a must have herb in the garden!

Emily Saddler

Emily is a Master Gardener, wife of a professional landscape contractor, homeschool mom of 7 awesome kids, yoga/pilates instructor, a clinical and master herbalist, licensed massage therapist and soon to be traditional naturopath. She is a very passionate advocate of organic home-grown food! Emily maintains a blog called “The Organic Suburban Farm Girl” where she shares gardening advice, delicious recipes made with fresh, organic ingredients, herbal and natural home care product recipes and loves teaching classes on gardening, plant identification and herbal remedy workshops. Check out the events and classes page for more info.

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