St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a great plant to befriend in the dark time of year, as this time of year is a natural time to go inward and reflect about life, who you are, what you’re doing…quieting your mind and listening. This sometimes can bring depression and/or anxiety closer to us and we need a little extra support to get through those emotional times. St. John’s Wort is a protective plant, and one that helps to bring joy.
Part Used: Tops of flowers and plant
St. John’s Wort is a shrubby perennial with bright and cheerful yellow flowers with five petals. Time of year for harvest is later June and July.
Properties: Nervine, antiviral, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory
Internal Uses: Some of the chemical components of St. John’s wort are hypericin, flavonoids and carotenoids, among others. This joyful-looking plant is well known in Europe and the US, and is used for mild-moderate depression and anxiety. In some studies, the hypericin component shows synergy with the active components in Passionflower, enhancing the strength of both. These herbs show results in helping with Parkinson’s Disease.
St. John’s wort is also an antiviral and antimicrobial, and has been known to help with herpes, other viral and bacterial infections and even MRSA.
External use – St. John’s wort has shown healing properties for wounds and muscular pain; also antiviral and antimicrobial qualities; can be directly rubbed into areas of needed healing.
Forms of use:
Internally -tincture, flower essence, tea and capsule
Externally – infused in oil and/or made into a salve
Whispers of Nature – St. John’s Wort Tincture and Dear Friend Salve
Avoid use if taking prescription anti-depressant medications, during pregnancy and/or breastfeeding.
May cause some photosensitivity during use (but also may not).
The Healing Power of Herbs, Michael T. Murray N.D.
The Green Pharmacy, James A. Duke, Ph.D.