Saturday, July 20, 2013

St. John's Wort

Look who showed up. Hypericum perforatum in all his glory came to the party. I was told that you could plant St John’s Wort in your garden and that he might even grow for a season but, he may or may not return.  And if he returns to your garden it will be in a completely different spot than the year before.  So, I have admired him from afar.  I have looked for him when hiking and traveling but he has remained elusive until this year. 
On a walk to the backyard to hang the laundry I spotted him.  I was shocked that this beautiful yellow flowering plant had escaped my husband and the weed whacker.  And then when I came closer I realized that I had a special visitor to my garden. I thanked him for coming and told him he was welcome to stay and multiply. And then I quickly grabbed my hubby and threatened him and his weed whacker if he ventured too near. 
My one visitor is not enough to harvest only admire. But, I found an untouched patch near home. I asked if I could take their beautiful blossoms for oil.  They kindly agreed.  I came home with a beautiful bouquet that I meticulously dismantled.  The blossoms went in a mason jar and were covered in olive oil.  The yellow blossoms turned the oil a beautiful red.  This will be strained in a few weeks and bottled in an amber bottle.  Some of the oil will find its way into a salve.
St John’s Wort is often thought of for depression and this has validity but today I want to focus on the reason I picked and infused this flower in oil.  It is great topically for nerve and joint pain.  It can be used for small abrasions, bug bites and burns.  It is anti-inflammatory and helps when used on strains and sprains. For those days you have worked a little too hard in the garden (or on that hike) a gentle massage with some St John’s Wort oil is heavenly.  I keep a small bottle in my first aid kit. 


  1. What a wonderful green ally to wander into your world ~ and so close! Truly, a blessing ~ and wonderful green blessing!

    Merry herbing!

  2. Thank you for your lively narrative about this generous character of a plant. I look forward to reading more. Yours, C.


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