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Monday, July 27, 2009

St John's Wort Oil

My dear friend and mentor Margi Flint sent me some gorgeous fresh St John's Wort, Hypericum perforatum in the mail to make oil out of. St Johns Wort is one of the few plants, who's properties are actually activated by sunlight. What this means is that upon receiving the top flowering 6 inches of the plant, I immediately added olive oil into a 32oz jar filled with flowers, enough to cover the flowers and have an extra inch. I then blended this, trying not to burn out my motor. I ended up adding a little more oil to cover all the plant material. Because the flowers were fresh, I covered the top with cheesecloth and set it in the sun for 2 weeks(which in Texas may be overkill). My oil turned a gorgeous red color and is now ready to be strained and used. St Johns Wort is used topically as an Anti-inflammatory, particularly soothing to inflamed nerves, helpful for cases of neuralgia, and sciatica. It can also be used to treat sprains, burns, bruises and has a long history of use by midwives to treat tears and promote better healing after birthing. Locally, this species does not grow or flower well in gardens. Its closest native Texas relative is St. Andrews Cross, Hypericum hypericoides, which I tried making a tincture of and have no idea whther it will be useful like its Northern cousin, but why not try it out, eh?

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