Solsticing with St. John's Wort

St. John's Wort (Hypericum spp.)

Anyone who knows me knows my biggest plant ally is St. John's Wort! I still remember the first time I really met this plant. I was on a plant walk with my class at Appalachia School for Holistic Herbalism. There in the middle of the trail was this plant saying, "Look at me all sunny and shiny!" Our teacher, Mateo, taught us how when you crush the flowers and leaves it will stain your hands red.

The unopened flower buds have a ton of red juice in them!
Using the doctrine of signatures, when a plant looks like what it is good for, that staining shows us it may be used to treat bleeding and the blood. The pin hole dots on the leaves and flowers also signify the treatment of wounds. It is well known for this powerful healing of cuts, scraps, bites, and bruises. 

This leaf really looks like a bruise.
Here you can see the tiny pin holes in the leaves.
Lots of people use it for treatment of depression and SAD but I have found it is good for most nervous system issues. The beautiful, ruby red oil is excellent as a massage oil for pain and nerve damage. According to Matthew Wood in his book, The Book of Herbal Wisdom, William Boericke, a physician that lived from 1849 to 1929, said that a heavy use of Hypericum in surgery can make morphine unnecessary.  But use with caution especially if you are on other medications. It is a powerful liver detoxifier, which can cause many medications to not work properly as it flushes the pharma right out of your system. However topically I have not seen a problem since it is not metabolized by the liver, but always use your own intuition and best judgement for you! 

I made this tincture last night and within minutes the alcohol was pulling the redness out of the pores of the leaves.
 The red staining is supposed to represent the blood of Saint John the Baptist, which is how it got it's name. Anne McIntyre calls it "heart of Jesus oil" and I completely see that connection as this is a very sunny plant and in my opinion can help us see the Light, Christ consciousness. There is no way you can look at this plant in bloom and not be happy. It looks like sunshine and stars and fireworks. It smells sweet and almost like warm honey. One of it's nicknames is Sol Terrestris, Earthly Sun. How beautiful is that!!

This tiny Sunshiny Spider blessed my oils a few years ago.
  Rosemary Gladstar says our nervous system is our direct interface with the Universe. I feel like St. J's can be a powerful bridge of reconnection, which seems to be something we lack so much in the modern era we live. I feel St. John's Wort's message is to see the Sun/Son in every face you meet! Cast light on the shadows and they will melt away in the warmth of Holy Spirit.

This is finished Plantain and St. John's Wort oils. The red of St. J's oil is so beautiful!!
 The Summer Solstice is St. J's special harvest time. It is said to be most potent on this date. I always try to harvest now but usually life has other plans. Luck for me it blooms all summer long!! This plant's Sun ties don't end with flower shape and harvest time. It also needs the Sun to warm it while making the oil. It will go from green olive oil to the most beautiful shade of red with the Sun's energy. It is an amazing, almost alchemical action! So I celebrate the Sun and the harvest of the Herb of Light!

Our harvest yesterday was a very good one!!
Xavier Rudd ~ Follow the Sun

***The information on this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any illness. Please seek advice from a qualified health practitioner you trust before using especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have a serious medical condition, or are currently taking any medications.


  1. What a wonderful and versatile plant. I love the vibrant red color of the oil and that when you look at the plant in nature you don't see the red. It's hidden secret.


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