Hypericum perforatum, or St John’s wort, is a wonderful herb that can be found all over the western side of the Canada and the US. This wonderful plant is one of the most used in my practice and it is the perfect time for me to harvest some to make more medicine!
It’s latin name, Hypericum perforatum, comes from the little perforations in it’s leaves. If held up to the sun you can see the sunshine shining through them! This is a great indication for it’s use – letting the sunshine shine through into your heart and soul. I use St John’s wort all the time for my patients with depression, seasonal affective disorder, and grief. This powerful little plant works in similar ways to anti-depressant medications so please talk to a naturopathic doctor before adding this to any anti-depressants you are currently taking. Depression is a complicated condition and can many causes, including nutrient deficiencies. Read more here.
As a yellow coloured herb we herb folk know it is good for the liver. Because of it’s strong effect on the liver St John’s wort can interfere with certain medications, possibly including birth control. I wrote an article for Vital Link, the Canadian naturopathic journal, about all of it’s possible interactions.
If you are taking any prescription medications, especially anti-depressants, please only use St. John’s wort under the guidance of a naturopathic doctor.
Topically the beautiful fresh flowers and leaves can be made into a healing oil. The oil is anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and stimulates healing. My favourite uses for Hypericum oil is in a healing salve and for muscle and nerve pain.
If you think this little ray of sunshine could benefit your health, don’t hesitate to book an appointment with me and get your own housemade tincture or oil!