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St John’s Wort – Sun, Spirit & Insight

Jun 15, 2021 | Herbalism Blog

St. John’s Wort, a weed thriving in New Hampshire meadows, has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. Let’s explore some of the health benefits of John’s Wort.

During the first couple of years of growing our herbs, we planted St. John’s Wort in the greenhouse in spring and transplanted it into the garden by early summer. A noticeable pattern emerged: resembling a baby, in the first year, St. John’s Wort stayed close to the soil. By the second year, it stood tall and adorned itself with vibrant yellow blossoms. However, in the third year, St. John’s Wort succumbed to rust, rendering it unharvestable. After encountering this repeated cycle, we opted to wildcraft St. John’s Wort for several years instead of cultivating it.

What’s in the name?

 St John’s Wort Botanical name is  Hypericum perforatum.  Herbalist Matthew Woods makes an interesting note about the genus name Hypericum and the Greek name hypericon. “This seems to indicate that it was placed “above the icon,” or possibly that it has the power “over the image,” or specter. During the Middle Ages, St. John’s Wort was used to protect people against demons, witchcraft, and lightning.” 

The species name “perforatum” refers to the fact that the plant’s leaves are “perforated” or appear to have tiny holes that you can only see on close inspection.

“A red color from yellow flowers? If that’s not magic,
I don’t know what is.”
– Henriette Kress

St John's Wort flowers and oil

 

Press the flower between your fingers and a bloody red fluid will stain your fingers.

History & lore

St. John’s Wort was used to remove wilderness from home and the mind (depression). 

Herbalist Matthew Woods considers SJW to be associated with the “little people” or the elementals. In both the European tradition and the Native American tradition, the “little people” are powerful beings that live in the woods and meadows. The elementals are the forces of growth. When the growth is not tamed, it becomes wild.  SJW is associated with the wild forces of summer. The elementals are interested in healing and teaching humans about the natural world but are veiled from most people. Only children, or certain types of healers, can be in a conscious relationship with them. 

My experience with St. John’s Wort was that indeed it is not an herb that wishes to be tamed. It grows wherever it wants to grow. It moves in the garden every year a little. This year I have a couple of SJW in the middle of the Lavender bed. A beautiful combination since the lavender, too, is getting ready to bloom. I had to learn to respect the untamed nature of St. John’s Wort.  

Psychological Profile

St John is for people that experience depression, despair, loss of hope, loss of faith, trust. The inner light becomes dim, and the vital force collapses. The person feels disconnected from their community, family, and nature. Still, they feel disconnected from themselves, their heart, and their purpose in life. 

Very beneficial for seasonal affective disorder. For when a person has a hard time trusting their gut instinct or their intuition. 

Clinical use

Internal uses of St John

“It is more important to know the person who have the disease than the disease that a person have.”
~ Hippocrates

St John for depression

St. John’s Wort is one of the most known herbs, even to people who know only a little about herbalism. It got its name as an antidepressant, which is totally misleading. Herbalists are looking to find the condition’s root cause, not just looking on the surface and healing the symptoms. Herbalist David Winston reminds us that there are 12 different kinds of depression and that SJW may help heal only three of those:

  • GI-based depression is common with chronic GI problems such as intestinal dysbiosis, abnormal gut flora, gastric upset, chronic constipation and diarrhea, inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS), and leaky gut. Much of the body’s serotonin is produced in the gut. While this serotonin cannot pass the blood-brain barrier, associated precursor compounds can and do. A healthy intestinal microbiome is also essential for helping maintain a healthy emotional state. The person with GI depression will be moody, lethargic and depressed.  
  • Hepatic depression. In ancient Greek medicine, the word melancholia described a state in which a person had an excess of the black (melan) bile (choler). This humoral imbalance led to symptoms including irritability, depression (often with anxiety), angry thoughts, loss of appetite, insomnia, nausea, and biliousness
  • Seasonal affective depression. AKA winter gloom.

 

St John for nerve pain

St. John’s Wort stands out as an effective herb for addressing nerve pain arising from inflammation, injury, or trauma to nerve tissue. Recognized as a trophorestorative herb, specifically nourishing and rejuvenating nerve tissue, it proves beneficial for conditions like peripheral neuropathies, Reynaud’s disease, sciatica, phantom limb pain, brachial nerve pain, head trauma injuries, migraines, and minor spinal injuries. This herb can be applied topically, consumed as a tincture, or utilized as a homeopathic remedy to alleviate nerve pain.

St John for liver detox

St. John’s Wort stands out for its ability to enhance phase II liver detoxification pathways, influencing the metabolism of various compounds in the liver. This stimulation of toxin metabolism, however, reduces the efficacy of numerous pharmaceutical drugs, leading to contraindications with medications such as non-sedating antihistamines, oral contraceptives, certain antiretroviral agents, antiepileptic medications, calcium channel blockers, cyclosporine, some chemotherapeutic drugs, macrolide antibiotics, and selected antifungals, as noted by David Hoffman.

Notably, St. John’s Wort exhibits a unique impact on the liver by addressing both excess (inflammation) and deficiency or stagnant liver conditions. It facilitates a gentle cleansing of the body from toxins, a feature highlighted by Paul Bergner, making it beneficial in the treatment of depression.

St John for the solar plexus

SJW has a particular affinity to the solar plexus and the nerves of digestion. The autonomic nervous system organizes the digestive system. It means that the proper enzymes and hormones are secreted in the time and place where they are needed. Thus, peristalsis happens at the right time, place, and order. Modern lifestyle, diet, and stress specifically can cause havoc in the gut. SJW can help mitigate these harmful influences over the gut. 

Fred Siciliano, an herbalist from California, states,
“It decongests the liver and removes mild tension that accompanies this. It harmonizes the stomach, spleen, pancreas, liver, and gallbladder.”

In other words, it strengthens the function of the solar plexus so that assimilation of nutrients improves and tissue cleansing is increased. 

St. John’s Wort is particularly suitable for individuals facing chronic diseases characterized by weakness, depletion, and depression. It is well-suited for those who cannot tolerate stronger remedies or experience overly robust liver reactions. The herb facilitates a restorative response in the autonomic nervous system and digestion, acting through the solar plexus.

Topical uses of St John

St. John’s Wort, holds significant importance as a remedy for wounds, particularly deep puncture wounds at risk of infection. Unlike comfrey, which heals wounds from the outside in, SJW possesses antimicrobial properties that facilitate healing from the inside out.

In the summertime, SJW proves beneficial for sunburns. When combined with infused oil of Calendula and lavender, SJW-infused oil aids in drawing out heat and reducing inflammation when applied to sunburns or other burns.

Beyond its use for physical ailments, SJW serves as protection for individuals oversensitive to the spiritual world, especially those experiencing visions and apprehensions. When used in combination with Wood Betony and yarrow, St. John’s Wort traditionally safeguards the integrity of the self and helps anchor it in the body.

This summer plant, St. John’s Wort, is readily available at the end of June.

Needing help with mood swings? Discover how a healthy gut bacteria can help you balance your mood in “An Epidemic of Absence – Gut Bacteria.”

Resource: 

David Winston – https://www.americanherbalistsguild.com/sites/default/files/Proceedings/winston_david_-_differ_treat-depression.pdf

Easley, Thomas, and Steven H. Horne. The Modern Herbal Dispensatory: a Medicine-Making Guide. North Atlantic Books, 2016.

Ellingwood, Finley, and John Uri Lloyd. American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy: Developing the Latest Acquired Knowledge of Drugs, and Especially of the Direct Action of Single Drugs upon Exact Conditions of Disease, with Especial Reference of the Therapeutics of the Plant Drugs of the Americas. Eclectic Medical Publications, 1983.

King, John, et al. King’s American Dispensatory. Ohio Valley Co., 1909.

Klemow, Kenneth M. “Medical Attributes of St. John’s Wort (Hypericum Perforatum).” Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd Edition., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Jan. 1970, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92750/.

“Log into Facebook.” Facebook, www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10156566459608692&id=139321718691.

“Login.” School of Evolutionary Herbalism, members.evolutionaryherbalism.com/members/mmm/.

“The Mechanism of Action of St. John’s Wort (Hypericum Perforatum) in the Treatment of Depression.” EBM Consult, www.ebmconsult.com/articles/herbal-supplement-st-john-wort-hypericum-perforatum-mechanism-depression.

Peterson, Bahtya. “St. John’s Wort.” StatPearls [Internet]., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 29 Jan. 2021, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557465/.

WE;, Wonnemann M;Singer A;Müller. “Inhibition of Synaptosomal Uptake of 3H-L-Glutamate and 3H-GABA by Hyperforin, a Major Constituent of St. John’s Wort: the Role of Amiloride Sensitive Sodium Conductive Pathways.” Neuropsychopharmacology : Official Publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10882845/.

Wood, Matthew. The Book of Herbal Wisdom: Using Plants as Medicine. North Atlantic Books, 1998.

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Disclaimer: This document is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use. I am not providing medical, psychological, or nutrition therapy advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your own medical practitioner. Always seek the advice of your own medical practitioner and/or mental health provider about your specific health situation. You can view my full disclaimer here.

St John’s Wort – Sun, Spirit & Insight

Jun 15, 2021 | Herbalism Blog

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Feeling inspired? Want more?

Continue your learning by joining the Bee Fields Farm newsletter and gain access to exclusive content that is sure to nourish your mind, body, and soul.

Example topics include:

  • seasonal recipes
  • how-to’s
  • tips & tricks
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  • upcoming programs
  • and so much more…

ENROLL TODAY

Together we’ll transform your health and reach new levels of vibrancy at any age.

Love, Lior

Pencil drawing of bee to separate text

Disclaimer: This document is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use. I am not providing medical, psychological, or nutrition therapy advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your own medical practitioner. Always seek the advice of your own medical practitioner and/or mental health provider about your specific health situation. You can view my full disclaimer here.

St John’s Wort – Sun, Spirit & Insight

Jun 15, 2021 | Herbalism Blog

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Feeling inspired? Want more?

Continue your learning by joining the Bee Fields Farm newsletter and gain access to exclusive content that is sure to nourish your mind, body, and soul.

Example topics include:

  • seasonal recipes
  • how-to’s
  • tips & tricks
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  • upcoming programs
  • and so much more…

ENROLL TODAY

Together we’ll transform your health and reach new levels of vibrancy at any age.

Love, Lior

Pencil drawing of bee to separate text

Disclaimer: This document is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use. I am not providing medical, psychological, or nutrition therapy advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your own medical practitioner. Always seek the advice of your own medical practitioner and/or mental health provider about your specific health situation. You can view my full disclaimer here.

St John’s Wort – Sun, Spirit & Insight

Jun 15, 2021 | Herbalism Blog

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Feeling inspired? Want more?

Continue your learning by joining the Bee Fields Farm newsletter and gain access to exclusive content that is sure to nourish your mind, body, and soul.

Example topics include:

  • seasonal recipes
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ENROLL TODAY

Together we’ll transform your health and reach new levels of vibrancy at any age.

Love, Lior

Pencil drawing of bee to separate text

Disclaimer: This document is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use. I am not providing medical, psychological, or nutrition therapy advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your own medical practitioner. Always seek the advice of your own medical practitioner and/or mental health provider about your specific health situation. You can view my full disclaimer here.

St John’s Wort – Sun, Spirit & Insight

Jun 15, 2021 | Herbalism Blog

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Together we’ll transform your health and reach new levels of vibrancy at any age.

Love, Lior

Pencil drawing of bee to separate text

Disclaimer: This document is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use. I am not providing medical, psychological, or nutrition therapy advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your own medical practitioner. Always seek the advice of your own medical practitioner and/or mental health provider about your specific health situation. You can view my full disclaimer here.

St John’s Wort – Sun, Spirit & Insight

Jun 15, 2021 | Herbalism Blog

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Feeling inspired? Want more?

Continue your learning by joining the Bee Fields Farm newsletter and gain access to exclusive content that is sure to nourish your mind, body, and soul.

Example topics include:

  • seasonal recipes
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  • tips & tricks
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  • and so much more…

ENROLL TODAY

Together we’ll transform your health and reach new levels of vibrancy at any age.

Love, Lior

Pencil drawing of bee to separate text

Disclaimer: This document is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use. I am not providing medical, psychological, or nutrition therapy advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your own medical practitioner. Always seek the advice of your own medical practitioner and/or mental health provider about your specific health situation. You can view my full disclaimer here.

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