St. John's Wort is also claimed to temper emotional discomfort and calm the nerves. St. John's Wort is widely prescribed by herbal practitioners for mild depression and anxiety. St John's Wort is also applied externally to heal wounds and reduce inflammation.
St John's Wort owes its name to the fact that its golden-yellow flowers bloom in their splendor around the summer solstice on St. John's Day- June 24th.
St. John's Wort is a perennial herb with small bright-yellow flowers which have five petals and long, feathery stamens at the center. The slender, oval leaves grow in opposing pairs, and if held up to the light, appear to be perforated.
Ornamental or balcony varieties of Hypericum normally do not contain any healing properties. Only Hypericum perforatum, which is rarely found commercially, contains the levels of hypericin to accomplish this.
St John's Wort grows well in sunny locations but will do well in the shade. Grow St John's Wort in well-drained soil with a high humus content, but not too moist.
Between March and May, thinly sow St John's Wort seeds in a seeding tray or other preferred container filled with quality potting soil. Cover the seeds with a very thin layer of the soil.
Place the seeding tray in a warm, well lit location. Bottom warmth provided by a water-proof heat mat designed for germinating seeds is recommended.
Mist the surface without soaking the soil. Cover the seeding tray with a plastic cover or wrap. Continue to mist the soil daily until the seeds germinate, usually in 10-14 days.
When the St John's Wort seedlings are 1-2 inches in height, transplant them in clusters of 3 into growing-medium filled pots to be placed outside in a sunny location. Keep the St John's Wort well-watered.
In the fall transplant the St. John's Wort herbs outside into a permanent, well-drained location. Plant the individual herbs 12 inches apart. Trim the stems back to just above ground level and cover the base with light mulch. The St. John's Wort will bloom the next summer.
Refresh St. John's Wort with compost in the spring. Give St. John's Wort an optional feeding with a organic fertilizer in mid-summer if the herb is growing in poorer soil.
When the St. John's Wort herb is actively growing, the St. John's Wort water requirements are minimal. In fact St John's Wort does not tolerate over watering or waterlogged soil. For this reason, under normal conditions, it is generally not advised to provide additional irrigation for St. John's Wort.
First, what is St John's Wort? It is a perennial herb with a history which dates back as
far as the ancient Greek culture of 400 BC and the pre-Christian era in England. As with most early uses of herbs,
the early uses of St. John's Wort were generally religion based. It was also used for a variety of other
purposes. St. John's Wort was used for everything from driving away demons, to increase ones longevity, and
to even test ones chances for matrimony. As you can see, it was a very versatile herb
in those early days!
St. John's Wort is used by modern American herbalists in many commercial products which come in the form of an oil, tincture, powdered or capsule formulations. St. John's Wort is readily prescribed by medical doctors in Europe for mild depression in addition to St. John's Wort prescribed for burns, ulcers and some nervous disorders. Laboratory and clinic studies have been performed which support St. John's Wort for these uses.
What does St. John's Wort Do? The medical benefits of St. John's Wort are due to
the high concentration of hypericin which is contained in the red pigment that flows from the leaves of the St.
John's Wort herb when they are pinched or damaged. The hypericin, in addition to another compound in the
herb called pseudohypericin, are what is thought to give St. John's Wort its well known antidepressant qualities
that have made St. John's Wort useful in treating minor depression.
The St. John's Wort active constituent of hypericin also provides the herb's mild disinfectant and astringent qualities which make it useful in treating abrasions and burns. St. John's Wort Oil has a warming quality which promotes circulation. This makes it useful in the treatment of muscle cramps, bruises and sprains.
What are St. John's Wort side effects? One should take care when taking St. John's Wort to not become overexposed to ultraviolet or sunlight. The result could be a nasty sunburn and blistering because the hypericin in St. John's wort increases the skin's photosensitivity.