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December 04, 2001

St. John's Wort

St. John's Wort has gotten quite a reputation throughout the years ~ both good and bad. The literature considers it quite a tonic, however it is elsewhere called a poision. The common names for St. John's Wort include: Amber, goat-weed, Johnswort, Klamath weed, Tipton weed, fuga daemonum (Latin - scare devil), and Sol Terrestis. Its botanical name is Hypericum perforatum.

St. John's Wort acts as a nervine tonic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, vulnerary, anti-spasmodic, and expectorant. Taken internally, it has a sedative effect, which is good for reducing anxiety and tension. It is especially good for menopausal changes triggering irritability and anxiety.

CAUTION ~ Since it has a sedative effect, do not use when there is marked depression.

Externally it is a valuable healing and anti-inflammatory remedy. It speeds the healing of wounds & bruises, vericose veins and mild burns. Combines well with Skullcap and Chamomile to calm the nerves. For healing the skin, it combines well with Calendula (Marigold) petals. It has also been found to be useful in treating bedwetting, insomnia and other nervous conditions. Also good as a tea for uterine cramping and menstrual difficulties.

CAUTION ~ St. John's Wort has sometimes poisioned livestock. Its use may also make the skin sensitive to light.

Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto 1-2 teaspoonfuls of the dried herb and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day.

Tincture: take 1-4 ml of the tincture three times a day.

Oil Extract: Take 10-15 drops in water.

TO MAKE (Oil Extract): Put fresh flowers and leaves in a jar and fill with olive oil. Close the jar and leave it in a sunny or warm place for 6 to 7 weeks, shaking it often. The oil will turn red. Strain the oil through a cloth. If a watery layer appears when the oil has stood a while, decant or siphon it off. In a dark container the oil will keep for up to 2 years.

Expectorant Tea ~ Combine 3 teaspoonsful of St. John's Wort with an equal amount of Vervain. Bless the herbs and imbue them with healing energies. Pour enough boiling water over the herbs to make approximately 3 mugs of tea. Note: This tea tastes very bitter, you may want to sweeten it with honey. Drink 3 mugs of the tea just before going to bed. You will wake the next morning and expel mucous, but it has been known to completely eradicate the excess mucous of a cold. You may still have a cold, but at least that aspect of the cold may be eliminated.

St. John's Wort is one of the best known of a group of herbs that were smoked (to cure by exposure to smoke ~ like a ham) in fires set on St. John's Eve (June 23) during the medieval times. The herbs, when properly smoked, could be hung in houses and barns to deter the powers of evil (keeps ghosts, necromancers and other evil doers from the house). When placed in a jar and hung by a window, it protects against thunderbolts, fire and evil spirits. Some other herbs smoked during St. John's Eve were: ivy, mugwort, milfoil, vervain, elder, figwort, fennel, meliot, camomile, plantain, hawthorn, lavender and male fern.

This masculine herb is associated with the Sun, the Element of Fire, and the Sign of Leo. It also has connections to the Norse Deity, Baldur.

MAGICAL USES: Animals, commanding, confidence, courage, exorcism, good luck, health, happiness, to increase the power of spells, love divination, magic, overcome opposition, psychic protection, spell-breaking, strength and success.

When worn, wards off fevers and colds, makes soldiers invincible, and attracts love. If it is gathered on Midsummer or on a Friday and worn, it will keep mental illness at bay and will also cure melancholy.

Any part of the herb placed beneath the pillow allows unmarried women to dream of their future husbands. Use in rituals or carry to detect other magicians; at one time it was held to the mouth of accused Witches to attempt to force them to "confess." It is a purifying incense and can be worn around the neck as a protective amulet. It has been used in spells for invisibility, and to attract money and business.

St. John's Wort illuminates consciousness and gives strength to deal with disturbed dreams and psychic experiences.

Posted by BlueWolf on December 4, 2001 09:02 AM