St. John’s wort, Hypericum perforatum
DESCRIPTION AND CULTURE: Potent naturalized perennial, meaning that the Europeans brought this to the U.S. And it spread into nature. Luckily, it blends well, or we would call it invasive. Grows in meadows, along tracks and in dryer areas. It is in full bloom in Europe on St. John’s Day, June 24th, so full bloom in zone 4 is around the fourth of July. That is the time to collect the flowering tops. Yellow flowers top the foot tall plants making a lovely perennial on it’s upright, tidy stalks.
Part Used: flowering tops
FUNCTION: St. John’s wort captures the summer sun and can be bottled for winter use, when our moods are clearly lacking sunshine. The warmth of this bright golden flowers help to melt away tension in muscles and topically, St. John’s wort oil promotes healthy muscle function. Collect these flowering tops when they are in full bloom. You can dry them for winter teas, tincture them for easy use when you are not reacting to the blessings in your life as you could, or this fun experiment. Although St. John’s wort flowers are yellow, you can feel like an alchemist by collecting these flowers fresh, wilting them, and putting them in a clear jar. Cover with a light oil like sunflower or almond and set in the sun, This will turn a bright red! This “red oil” was in most homes in the 1800’s to be used topically for those hard working immigrants – our European forefathers and mothers, that made the U.S. what it is today.