St John’s wort flowers at midsummer, near St John’s eve (24th June).

In recent years, St Johns wort has become popular and well known as a natural anti-depressant.

However, St John’s wort’s uses go even further… The flowering tops can be steeped in olive oil to produce a red oil which has been traditionally used for treating mild burns, neuralgia, sciatica, as well as sprains, cuts & wounds.

St John’s wort is also used internally for shingles, chicken pox & other herpes infections. Studies have shown it to have a specific action against these viruses & others, such as glandular fever. As a relaxing & calming nervine, it is used whenever there is irritation or anxiety.

To make St Johns wort oil, fill a jar with the flowers and pour over olive oil up to the brim of the jar. Put lid on tightly and leave in direct sunlight for 6 weeks until the oil turns red. Strain through muslin and bottle. Keep in a cool dark place. The oil can be massaged directly onto the skin or added to creams and lotions.

Hypericum perforatum (St John's Wort)

Julie Padgham, Medical Herbalist & Reflexologist. Hypericum perforatum. Photo: By C T Johansson (own work) via Wikimedia Commons.

If you are taking any medication, please check with a medical herbalist or other health practitioner before taking St John's wort internally.

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