It got its common name from its association with St. John the Baptist. St. John’s Wort oil is an oil infusion of the flowers of St. John’s Wort, a flowering plant in the family Hypericaceae, which is widely used around the world. St. John’s is a wound-healer with antimicrobial effects, the latter against organisms such as Staphylococcus aureus. The herb has anti-inflammatory effects as well as being useful as a sleep aid. In modern times, St. John’s wort is often pigeon-holed as the “depression” herb. The best thing to do is tincture it. It relieves a host of different symptoms and problems that women may find useful. The Most Common Emergency And Disaster Scenarios, 52 Weeks To Preparedness: A Step-By-Step Online Guide. HARVESTING St. John's Wort When harvesting St. John's Wort for medicinal purposes, there is a specific time frame during which the plant is at its prime. This Custom, Spooky Coop Is A Neighborhood Hit! Do not use this product without medical advice … I have had the plant thrive in a very wet garden as well as in a very dry garden. If you are wondering how to prune a St. John’s wort shrub, here are some tips: Plan on pruning off about one-third of the total height of the shrub in mid or late March. When rubbed between the fingers, this yellow flower will turn your fingers a deep maroon color. Only the St. Johns wort flowers and flower buds are used to make St. Johns wort tincture or St. Johns wort infused oil. Then, chop the herb as discussed above and add to a jar filled with 2 ounces of olive oil. Now you have to make a choice between quality and time spent on the meadow: How to harvest St. John’s Wort: Many gardeners like to use the blooms and leaves for teas, capsules, and tinctures. Pruning St. John’s wort involves reducing all branch tips and selectively removing some branches to thin the plant. You can dry your harvest in a cool dry area, with no direct sunlight. Please let us know a convenient time to call you on, (*All time slots are available in CDT zone.). There is error while submitting your request. Submerge the herb into the oil using a spoon. Copyright © 2020 EG Media Investments LLC. St. John’s Wort and the Sun. After harvesting the flowers, the believer would hang them over a painting or statue of St. John in the home. It is a pain reliever and an emotional stabilizer. If you wish to use St. John’s wort internally, it can be made into a tea or tincture with either fresh or dried herb. Before Christianity in England, the flowers were brought into the house on mid-summer’s eve. St. John’s wort, botanically known as Hypericum perforatum, is a wild plant native to Europe and Asia.It has yellow, star-shaped flowers. Once it gets its footing though, you can expect the plant to grow up to 3 feet tall. The leaves and/or flowers are infused in a carrier oil, such as olive or sesame oil—the process is magical! While most of the genus tends to claim the common name, only one true St. John’s wort exists: Hypericum perforatum. Store the dried leaves and flowers in a house in a cool, dry place. This theme shows up in a number of religions from Ancient Greece through the Middle Ages. Wilt them for 4 hours, then put them in a mason jar and pour 80 proof alcohol over them for a tincture. Cut plant from the top of the plant to the midsection and fill your water-alcohol solution up to cover the chopped-up flowers. Also, when rubbed behind the ear on a daily basis, it can help to repair the nerves that have been damaged in some hearing issues. This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on August 12th, 2017, Your email address will not be published. Shake this vigorously 100 times, two times per day, and store it in a dark place. This is also known as the St. John’s wort family and encompasses more than 700 species. St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a flowering plant.The flowers are used to make liquid extracts, pills, and teas. Privacy Commitment: We will never share your email address with third-parties. The plant isnt particular about the soil type. St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum): St. John's Wort is a powerful healing herb. The flowers should be used fresh, if possible, for the most potent herbal remedy. St. John’s wort is anti-inflammatory that can be used topically for wounds, bruises, varicose veins, sore muscles and mild burns. Internally it is a superstar with the nervous system. To see if your plants are ready to be harvested, roll one of the buds between your thumb and forefinger. There is some evidence that St. John’s wort can interfere with serotonin levels for those taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, so avoid St. John’s wort if you are on such a medication. The only other concern with the plant is really more about some of the other species on the genus. St John’s Wort can be planted indoors to get a head start on your season 6-8 weeks before your last spring frost. St. John's wort may affect fertility (your ability to have children). You can also use a dehydratorif you really need the herb quickly; but it isn’t my preferred method. Brilliant DIY: Do-It-Yourself Tip, Ideas and Strategies, Gardening Year Round: Your Plants Will Love You For It, Are You Ready? If you’re hoping to use just the leaves you would harvest sometime in the two weeks that precedes that. St. John's Wort Tincture: Cover fresh flowers with 95 proof vodka, we used grain-free traditional potato vodka and a 1:2 fresh herb ratio. It also withstands drought but grows best with irrigation during prolonged dry spells. Other herbs taste better when they are harvested before flowering, such as mint plants, but St. John’s wort is more effective after it has flowered. I have two favorite topical uses for this plant: for sunburn and for nerve damage from disease or blunt-force trauma. Remember to consult with your happy, friendly, family physician prior to using any information in this article, or the one I penned previously. This is a common misconception. Known for its exhaustive medicinal value, St. John’s Wort is one of the best herbs to add to your herbal medicine cabinet. One of the main uses of the plant has been as a natural solution for depression. The hardiness of the perennial species varies, but most survive winters in U. Just before it opens is the optimal time to pick. St. John’s wort prefers full or partial shade and adapts to a wide range or soils, including rocky or sandy sites. It is a perennial plant and grows throughout most of the U.S.  Keep in mind that in some states, such as Montana, it is considered a “noxious weed,” and there is a monetary fine if you grow it/cultivate it even on your own property. Follow our guide on growing St. John’s Wort at home, and you’ll be using your own medicinal herbs in … Your email address will not be published. St. John's wort may pass into breast milk and may cause unwanted effects in a nursing baby. If you are in a state that does not allow for growing St. John’s Wort or you simply pref… If … St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a flowering shrub native to Europe. St. John’s wort isn’t really a food plant—it doesn’t cross over into the “food as medicine” category very well. Harvest St. John’s Wort when flowers are first opening. St. John’s wort is also an antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral and nervine. St. John’s wort isn’t all that particular about the soil where it grows. It is just about the prettiest formula I make each year, and I wouldn’t be without it. The first time I brought this plant home, I had the idea that it was meant to be tall. If you are harvesting the leaves and stems, you will want to pick on a morning or evening, when the dew isn’t on and the sun isn’t at its peak. It is much more interested in sun than anything else you might offer, so plant it somewhere that gets full sun. Left … Trained in ethnobotany, she travels across the country to speak about botanical wellness using functional foods and home health proficiency. Submerge the herb into the oil using a spoon. Then, chop the herb as discussed above and add to a jar filled with 2 ounces of olive oil. You can transplant outdoors or plant directly by seed after the last spring frost and up until 8 weeks before the first fall frost. You should have a dark red stain on your fingers from the release of the hypericin. If they emit a reddish or deep purple oil, it’s time to harvest. So, right now, in July and August, you can pick leaves and flowers and just brew up a really lovely tea that just makes ya feel good! It grows well in sand, clay, rocky soil or loam, and tolerates acidic to slightly alkaline pH. You can see specific dates for your location using our FREE iOS, Android, and Universal Web App. It also aids in dulling nerve pain and pain caused by arthritis. St. John’s wort should only be harvested a year from its first flowering. Dawn Combs lives in Ohio with her family and is the co-owner of the herbal health farm Mockingbird Meadows, chief soda jerk at her family’s unique storefront apothecary called Soda Pharm and the master formulator of their herb- and honey-based products. JJ out! All rights reserved. Note: Do not squeeze out the oils as this could add moisture to the essential and could diminish the shelf life of the oil. St John’s wort, or Hypericum perforatum, is a flowering plant that is native to Europe and Asia. St. John's wort is available as a supplement in teas, tablets, liquids and topical preparations.St. Interestingly, the best time to harvest this plant is around that saint’s official day: June 24th (or thereabouts, depending on your location). Some claimed that the red spots on the leaves only appeared there after St. John was beheaded, and they believed that sleeping with a sprig of the plant under your pillow the night before the Feast of St. John’s would guarantee a vision and a blessing. Harvest St. John’s wort by cutting its top 1/3 part of the plant in July and August. Natural Medicine: How To Improve Your Health With The Science of Nature. This is a bit tricky and just takes time and practice to see. Grain alcohol is the best for this. Traditionally, it was popular for sleep dis… Do this for two weeks. When used topically, as in an essential oil, it assists in minimizing muscular pain and swelling, helps to heal minor burns, bruising, sprains, and is great in treating wounds that have punctures in the skin. Herbalists used to harvest the plant around St John’s Day on June 24th, which is how it came by the name.1 Scientists think St John’s wort was used by the ancient Greeks. It has a very long history of being used to ward off the “evil eye” and protect against illness. However, it hasn’t been shown to increase the danger of sunburn in people using the plant in appropriate doses. If you live in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 or 6 to 10 and have a partially shaded site, you can probably grow St. Johns wort. She is the author of, Cool Your Root Cellar In Summer With Winter’s Ice, Soulful And Affectionate Creatures Thrive At Stone House Mini Donkeys, Crop Rotation Matters In Home Garden Beds, Too. The most popular preparation method is St. John’s wort oil, which is used topically. This is when they are at the medicinal prime. St. John’s Wort should be allowed to fully flower before your harvest it. The flowers are bright yellow with reddish-purple spots in the throat. The two components hypericin and hyperfolin are the active ingredients in most of the clinical studies. As the flower develops it will get more intensely yellow and more full. You wont … Required fields are marked *. Today, it is still traditional for herbalists to pick their St. John’s wort for medicine making on June 24 during this annual holy day. Simply hang the stem with leaves and flowers attached for 7 – 10 days. The super-clean and simple supplement design makes this an excellent choice for anyone who’s conscientious about extra additives and fillers in their supplements, and combined with its solid dosage, makes it our number one pick. To start with, I always wonder exactly what plant are we discussing? It also reduces the symptoms found with PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) in a study performed with the administration of just one 300 mg (milligram) tablet per day with standardized 900 mcg (micrograms) of Hypericum, the chemical lending its name to the scientific name for St. John’s Wort, or Hypericum perforatum. Simply add fresh cut St. John’s Wort to a paper bag and allow to wilt for 24 hours. Thank you for choosing this service. Allow mixture to sit for two weeks and strain plant material oil of oil. These windows contain the oil for which this plant is famous. The popular herbal therapy is often used to ease symptoms of depression. St. John’s wort is an herbaceous perennial, hardy to zone 3. Rosemary Gladstar recommends squeezing the buds and flowers as a test for harvest readiness (Gladstar, 2010). Order by 11:00am central time for same-day shipping! Named for St. John the Baptist (because it blooms around the day of his feast), St. John's wort is continually being studied to try to demonstrate its alleged benefits. To speed up the drying process, the plant material can be placed on a cooki… With such an extensive history, it is little wonder that we are still talking about this small, unassuming plant today. St. Johns wort adapts to both moist and dry soil, and even tolerates occasional flooding. St. John’s Wort is known as nature’s antidepressant, and although it’s not officially approved by the FDA to treat anxiety and depression, the herb is a popular alternative to prescription drugs. Identifying St. John’s Wort Plants (Hypericum perforatum)The scientific name, Hypericum perforatum, actually gives a clue that’s really valuable for identifying the St. Johns Wort plant in the wild. Note: Do not squeeze out the oils as this could add moisture to the essential and could diminish the shelf life of the oil. You can also make an essential oil with St. John’s Wort. As the herb infuses, a red volatile oil is pulled out of the yellow flowers and turns the carrier oil blood red. If you are harvesting the flower it’s still a good idea to try a mid-morning or early evening timeframe for picking—I prefer mid-morning. The flowers and fresh buds are the best parts for medicinal use. In fact, St. John’s wort contains a few volatile oils and flavonoids. The species name “perforatum” refers to the fact that the leaves of the plant are “perforated” or appear to have tiny holes which can only be seen on close inspection. You will have to determine the concentration from the strength of the mixture, and the volume you accrue. The most popular preparation method is St. John’s wort oil, which is used topically. It gets its name from the fact that it often blooms on the birthday of the biblical John the Baptist.The flowers and leaves of St. John's wort contain active ingredients such as hyperforin. St. John’s wort is best harvested and used when it is in full bloom and still fresh, but it is ok if some of the flowers have dried a bit on the stalk. Keep in mind that it is best to cut off any old blooms when making a tincture because of alkaloids in the spent blooms. Clip the stem off about an inch above the ground and dry the entire stalk on a flat screen or hang it upside down. Now is the time of the year that it is heavily in flower, and ripe to harvest. You should not use this product if you are trying to get pregnant. Allow mixture to sit for two weeks and strain plant material oil of oil. Copyright Ready Nutrition™ 2009 - 2020. In reality, it does and certainly can help improve and balance mood. Depression and anxiety, so common during menopause have been found to be reduced with the use of St. John’s Wort. Our experts will call you on your preferred time. Happy gathering, and enjoy the summer sun and a harvest of St. John’s in the great outdoors! You may be familiar with its name from the brief time it spent being hailed as a so called cure for depression a few years ago. Please try again. When the time has elapsed, strain out the liquid from your chopped-up plants: it will yield a beautiful tincture that is blood-crimson in color. Now is … If you are in such an area, consider yourself lucky, and while you manage your “weeds,” be sure to make yourself a little magic, as well. The plant material can be dried for later use by hanging the stems, with the leaves and flowers still attached, in a cold, dry and dark place for 7 to 10 days. Hypericum perforatum appeared in the work of ancient healers and botanists, such as Theophrastus, Galen, Pliny, Dioscorides and Paracelsus. It likes to grow best from cuttings, which are made from the vigorously spreading rhizomes, though it will grow from seed. When harvesting St. John’s wort, it’s helpful to harvest on sunny days when the flowers are likely to be dry. Simply add fresh cut St. John’s Wort to a paper bag and allow to wilt for 24 hours. Yummy Recipes: Make Something Amazing To Eat! Often blooming around the summer solstice, St. John’s wort has a poetic and complex relationship with the sun. Use a solution of at least 52% ethyl alcohol. Then, chop the herb as discussed above and add to a jar filled with 2 ounces of olive oil. It appears that some of them, when heavily grazed by cattle, can cause photosensitivity in the animals. Your email address will not be published. All of this human association tells me that there is something special inside this plant that makes it worth our while to pass along generation to generation. St. John’s is in bloom, now, and vigorously. The leaves and/or flowers are infused in a carrier oil, such as olive or sesame oil—the process is magical! It has dark-green, oblong leaves that when held up to the light seem to contain evenly spaced, pin-prick translucent windows. John's wort is often used to treat depression and menopausal symptoms. St. John’s wort should be allowed to flower before it is harvested, typically in early summer. Shake every day, and let sit for 4 weeks, then strain out the flowers and cap tightly. In a perfect world, the flowers you choose will be unopened. The dried, above-ground parts are the ones that are used. In some areas of the country, the plant is considered a weed and is pulled and sprayed with little awareness of the magic and history that it contains. If you crush the flower buds between your fingers and see a red substance (that’s hypericin, the main medicinal constituent), then it is prime for harvesting. Take a big basket and lots of patience out with you on the meadow to gather St.John's wort. I have long since recommended it in your “kit” as an antimicrobial and an anti-influenza aid. Around one-third of the plant (flowers, stalks, and leaves) can be cut without causing permanent damage. The St. John’s wort plant is steeped in legend, and I go weak in the knees for a plant with a reputation. Use 1 part herb to 2 parts menstruum (alcohol). This tells me that the plants are ready to harvest for medicine! If you want to harvest the plant, and you aren’t just looking for a pretty bouquet, chances are you are making it into some sort of remedy. All Rights Reserved. In the second and following years, the plant should be allowed to flower before harvesting, usually in June or July. Check price at AmazonGaia Herbs St. John’s Wort provides 450 mg of raw flower bud material per capsule, which is standardized to contain 0.9 mg of hypericum, the active ingredient in St. John’s wort, per capsule. As the herb infuses, a red volatile oil is pulled out of the yellow flowers and turns the carrier oil blood red. Your email address will not be published. When it sprawled instead of standing I was worried that I had bought the wrong species. As the plant gets established, it often creeps and stays short. What is more interesting to the scientific community are hypericin and hyperforin, the two compounds that are most studied for mental health. Harvest the flower and the first inch or so of stem and leaf below, as all will contain the oil you’re wanting for your remedies. Allow mixture to sit for two weeks and strain plant material oil of oil. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. St. John's Wort / Hypericum perforatum TEA: when the flowers and leaves are taken internally as a tea or tincture, St. John's has the effect of lifting the spirits and lightening the mood.I have found this to be more so the case with fresh tea. The flowers are the coveted part of the plant but most herbal recipes I’ve used call for both the petals and leaves together. You can group the leaves and hang upside down to dry them up. Required fields are marked *. Whether you’re a traditionalist or not,the best time to harvest your St. John’s wort for its flowers is around June 24—at least in Ohio, where I live. My St. John’s wort plants have a place of honor in my medicine wheel garden. The primary common name (alternate spellings, "St. Johnswort" and "St. John's-wort") refers to the fact that the flowers were traditionally harvested on the Catholic Saint's Day honoring the nativity of St. John the Baptist, June 24. Later, as Christianity spread, the plant became associated with St. John the Baptist. Generally, your mixture will result in about a 250-350 mg/ml dosage of St. John’s for your tincture. Simply add fresh cut St. John’s Wort to a paper bag and allow to wilt for 24 hours. To use St. John’s Wort internally, add 1 dropper full of tincture with 4 ounces of water for up to three times a day. Submerge the herb into the oil using a spoon. Don’t worry though if the bunch of flowers you pick contains both unopened and opened flowers—it will be just fine. Using St. John’s wort oil topically to protect my skin seemed like a great idea. You can also hang it in bunches and dry it out, but tincturing is the most effective method. You should always consult with your doctor before using St. John’s Wort in any of these methods as they could interfere with other … We find the St. John’s wort plant in the Hypericum genus, which contains more than 490 different species. After removing the flower heads and buds (use latex gloves, or your hands and fingertips will be dyed crimson), chop them up finely and place them in a jar. The plant can easily be harvested by cutting the … Test for St. Johns Wort readiness for tincture or oil making by squeezing a few buds between your fingers. St. John’s wort got a bit of a black eye some years ago when people became concerned that the plant acted as an MAO inhibitor, but this was shown not to be the case in a follow-up study. St. John’s is also one of the herbs that are highly effective in combatting hemorrhagic flu viruses. – 10 days your mixture will result in about a 250-350 mg/ml dosage of St. John s... Different species blooms when making a tincture because of alkaloids in the outdoors... First fall frost also make an essential oil with St. John ’ s wort is often used to St.. Different species from cuttings, which are made from the release of the main of! A few volatile oils and flavonoids, roll one of the yellow flowers and flower buds are to. Should have a dark place attached for 7 – 10 days will grow from seed host of symptoms. It isn ’ t be without it maroon color I wouldn ’ t all that particular about prettiest... Old blooms when making a tincture because of alkaloids in the second and years... 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