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St. John's Wort
shopping: two varieties
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per 1/4 Pound
Quantity:  
$2.60 
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per Pound
Quantity:  
$6.50 
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per 1/4 Pound
Quantity:  
$2.72 
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per Pound
Quantity:  
$6.80 
Hypericum perforatum

st. john's wort

plant overview
herb of john the baptist

St. John's wort is a perennial, meadow plant. Originally native to Europe it now grows in many temperate zones around the world. It is so-named because of its propensity to bloom on or near June 24th, or St. John’s Day. Hypericum, means “above” and “picture,” reflecting its historical use of being hung over a home's entry door to deter malevolent spirits. St John's wort has a myriad of traditional and modern uses. It produces a deep red dye when extracted in alcohol, the shade modifiable with different mordants. The dried leaf is used to produce teas, tinctures, extracts, and infused oils. Also used powdered to make skin care preparations, or encapsulated as a dietary supplement.

Clicking "learn more" next to each variety will take you to individual product pages for details.
St. Johns wort
01.
A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information on St. John's Wort

description
Hypericum perforatum is a perennial plant of the Hypericaceae family.

Commonly referred to as St. John's Wort, this plant features extensive, creeping rhizomes. Its erect stems can grow approximately 3 feet high (1 m), and are branched in the upper section. Growing along the stem are narrow, oblong, yellow-green leaves that have transparent dots flecked throughout the tissue, and on occasion on the lower surface a few black dots. The leaves are opposing, stalkless, and approximately 1/2 inch long.

St. John's Wort five-petaled flowers measure up to 1 inch across, and are a bright yellow color with clearly evident black dots. Between late spring and early to mid summer, the flowers present in broad cymes (flower clusters with a central stem and a single terminal flower that develops first) at the ends of the upper branches. The flowers' pointed sepals have glandular dots in the tissue. The flowers also have many stamens, which unite at the base into three bundles. The pollen grains are ellipsoidal. When seed pods or flower buds are crushed a reddish/purple liquid. This does not occur when the flowers themselves are crushed.

In more than twenty countries, St. John's Wort is listed as a noxious weed.

common names & nomenclature
St John's day is June 24th and the serendipitous blossoming of this plant's flowers (and its resulting harvest) around that time has lent it its common name. The genus name Hypericum is derived from the Greek words hyper, meaning "above" and eikon meaning "picture". This is in reference to the plant's traditional use in warding off evil. The plant would be bundled and hung in the house over a religious icon during St John's day.

Additionally, when held to the light, the plant's leaves exhibit conspicuous translucent dots which lends them the appearance of being 'perforated', hence the plant's Latin name.

Also known as:
st. john’s wort, tipton's weed, rosin rose, goatweed, chase-devil, klamath weed, common st john's wort, perforate st john's wort


02.
Where in the World
habitat and range for st. john's wort

Hypericum perforatum is native to Europe, including Britain, south and east to North Africa, the Azores, Madeira and West Asia.

03.
Cultivation & Harvesting
cultivation and harvesting for st. john's wort

climate
St. John's Wort has been introduced to many temperate areas of the world and grows wild in many meadows.

soil
Easily grown in any reasonably good well-drained but moisture retentive soil, succeeds in dry soils.

growing
Sow seeds in the autumn or in the spring in a greenhouse as soon as they are ripe. Seeds usually germinate in 1-3 months at 10°C. Transplant out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent locations in the summer. Division can also be done in spring or autumn, divisions should be planted directly in the garden.

harvesting
The flowering shoots are harvested in early summer and dried for later use.

preserving
Store dried cut and sifted St. John's wort and powdered St John's wort in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

04.
The Rest of the Story
st. john's wort history, folklore, literature & more

St. Johns wort has been used in herbal healing for more than 2,000 years, most notably for its ability to speed wound healing. And only recently scientists have gathered some evidence on the herb's possible effectiveness as an immune system stimulant.

But its most exciting potential medical use was discovered in 1998, when researchers at New York University and the Weizmann Institute found it has "dramatic" activity against a family of viruses that includes HIV.

The leaves and flowers of St. Johns wort contain special glands that release a red oil when pinched. Early Christians named the plant in honor of John the Baptist, because they believed it released its blood-red oil on August 29, the anniversary of the saint's beheading. (Wort is Old English for plant.)

In the first century, the Roman naturalist Pliny prescribed St. Johns wort in wine as a cure for the bites of poisonous snakes. And the Greek physician Dioscorides recommended it externally for burns and internally as a diuretic, menstruation promoter, and treatment for sciatica and recurring fevers (malaria). The Greeks and Romans also believed the herb was a protector against witches' spells.

Under the Doctrine of Signatures—the medieval belief that herb's physical appearance revealed their healing value&mdashred plants were believed to be good for wounds, and "the juicy red flower" of St. Johns wort was no exception. In the 16th century John Gerard recommended it as a "most precious remedy for deep wounds," and wrote the herb "provoketh urine and is right good against stone in the bladder."

The first London Pharmacopoeia in 1618 advised chopping St. Johns wort flowers, immersing them in oil, and placing the mixture in the sun for three weeks. The resulting tincture was a standard treatment for wounds and bruises for several hundred years.

Early colonists introduced St. Johns wort into North America but found the Indians using the native American herb in much the same way Europeans used the Old World plant—as a tonic and treatment for diarrhea, fever, snakebite, wounds, and skin problems.

Throughout the 19th century, homeopathy was a popular as orthodox medicine, and homeopaths prescribed the herb for a variety of ailments: wounds, asthma, bites, sciatica, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, and certain forms of paralysis. Contemporary homeopaths continue this tradition.

America's 19th-century Eclectic physicians also considered St. Johns wort a useful wound treatment and tetanus preventive and advocated the whole herb a treatment for "hysteria" (menstrual discomforts) because of its "undoubted power over the nervous system and spinal cord."

Several studies have supportedSt. Johns wort's traditional use in the wound healing. The hypericin and other antibiotic chemicals in the herb's red oil may help prevent wound infection. In addition, the plant's potential immune-stimulating flavonoids help reduce wound inflammation. One German study showed that compared with conventional treatment, a St. Johns wort ointment substantially cut the healing time of burns and caused less scarring. (This product is not available in the United States.)

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised: 
you should always consult with your doctor
before making any changes to your diet!!
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