St. John's Wort, 3 oz. cut and sifted


 Names: St. John’s Wort, goat weed, klamath weed, amber, rosin rose, witch’s herb
Latin Name: Hypericum perforatum

Excerpts from Practical Herbalism

The current popularity that St. John’s Wort is enjoying as an anti-depressant and mood elevating remedy is reflected in it ancient roots. The very name Hypericum, is derived from the Greek, meaning "over the spectre," relating its almost magical ability to lift the darkness from the spirit. The herb’s effect on the nervous system was recognized to be physical as well as spiritual, though, and it came into great use as a healing plant for conditions and injuries that affected the nerves as well as the flesh. Culpeper wrote that, "It is a singular wound herb. Boiled in wine and drank it heals inward hurts and bruises. Made into an ointment, it opens obstructions, dissolves swellings, and closes up the lips of wounds."

Millspaugh (American Medicinal Plants, 1892) states that, "It is to the nervous system what Arnica is to the muscular," and reported that many cases of injury to the cranium and the spinal column have benefited by its use. Ellingwood also considered it specific for muscular bruises, deep soreness, and painful parts, and added that it should be used for a sensation of throbbing in the body without fever; burning pain, or deep soreness of the spine upon pressure, spinal irritation, circumscribed areas of intense soreness over the spinal cord or ganglia; concussion, shock or injury to the spine, and lacerated or punctured wounds in an location, accompanied with great pain. Priest & Priest tell us that it is a sedative nervine for muscular twitching and uncontrolled movements, being especially indicated for nerve injuries to the extremities and teeth/gums. They give the following specific indications: painful injuries to the sacral spine and coccyx, traumatic shock, hemorrhoids with pain and bleeding, facial neuralgia after dental extractions and toothache, neurasthenia, chorea, and depression.

Modern herbalists have found that, taken internally, St. John’s Wort has a sedative and pain reducing effect, which gives it a place in the treatment of neuralgia, anxiety, tension, and similar disorders. It is especially well regarded as an herb to lift the burden of depressions, and particularly useful where there are menopausal changes triggering depression, irritability and anxiety. In addition to neuralgic pain, it is used to ease fibrositis, sciatica and rheumatic pain.

Externally it is a valuable healing and anti-inflammatory remedy. In an ointment it will speed the healing of wounds and bruises, varicose veins, and mild burns. The garnet-red oil extracted from the flowers is especially useful for the healing of sunburn.

Indicated Usages - Internal:

  • Alcohol Withdrawal
  • Bedwetting, Enuresis
  • Bruises, muscle pain
  • Depression, anxiety
  • Post-partum pain and depression
  • Herpes
  • Neuropathy, Bell's Palsy
  • Urinary deficiency
  • Parkinson's, BET, Restless leg
  • HIV
  • Smoking cessation
  • Spinal injury/pain
  • Uterine/menstrual pain
  • Indicated Usages - External:

  • Bruises
  • Burns, scalds, sunburn
  • Cuts, abrasions
  • Spinal injury
  • Swollen glands
  • From Our Reading and/or Experience...

    • Though tinctures are the best method to draw out St. John's Wort's properties for internal use, we use it in tea combinations as well. Of course, it can be made into many other types of internal and external remedies. Poultices, for instance, are a very popular way of using it.
    • It can be used to benefit anyone: men, women (including before, during and after pregnancy, and nursing), children and animals.
    • It can be used as often as you would like, and in any way you choose.
    • It is critical that St. John's Wort is stored in a dark, dry, and cool place. Refrigeration or freezing is highly recommended, but not necessary. Following these suggestions will delay the loss of it's highly valued nutritional and medicinal properties.

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