Saturday, July 12, 2014

July 12, 2014 - St. John's Wort

St. John's Wort is ripening around here now, and this is one of the most important medicinal herbs that I gather.  The flowering tops are cut off (maybe six inches or so), leaves and all, as they begin to flower.  It's not the world's prettiest flower, and in fact, it is quite easy to pass it by entirely.  If you've never identified it before, chances are you have passed it by every single year of your life and not known it.  You probably thought it was some silly weed growing on the side of the road.

But what a medicine chest it is!  A dropperful of the tincture of St. John's Wort taken twice per day helps to alleviate mild-to-moderate depression, and it really works.  It may take a few weeks to begin feeling the effects, but most people report benefit when using this herb for depression.  It's also a very good anti-viral herb.  Many herbalists prescribe it for shingles.  It's a good pain reliever as well.  It doesn't work like a pain pill you might take.  It's more subtle, but many people receive good benefit from it in cases of neuralgia, back pain, sciatica, headaches, and muscle spasms.  A dropperful of the tincture is taken in this instance every half an hour until relief is obtained.  It can also help as a tincture or an oil with problems associated with Lyme Disease.  When made into an oil or a salve, it can be very helpful for muscle aches and pains as well as radiation damage to skin.

St. John's Wort in bloom.

To make an herbal tincture, fill up a jar completely with your choice of herb.  Then pour vodka (100 proof if you can get it) over the contents and fill completely to the top.  Yes, you really can fill a jar twice!  Shake well.  The next morning, top up again with vodka because the fairies will have stolen some of it.  Then store it in a cupboard and shake it once a day (or whenever you remember) for six weeks.  Strain through several layers of cheesecloth and store in a clean jar in the cupboard.  It's extremely economical to make it this way, and once you do so, you'll never buy the tincture again.  To make an herbal oil and then a salve from that, see my article on red clover cures for the directions.

Armed with St. John's Wort tincture, oil, and salve, you are ready to face many routine medical dilemmas you may encounter, and you made it all yourself!  Nature heals.

(Yes, I have to put a disclaimer in.  This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any ailment.  If you need medical advice, seek a physician.)

No comments:

Post a Comment