Medieval Europe was a time of great faith, and the cycle of life revolved around the liturgical calendar. Blooming in late June, this plant was named after the nearest feast day, that of St. John the Baptist. ("Wort" is actually the old English word for "plant" – thus, St. John’s plant.) Its bright yellow flowers symbolized Christ –five petals represented His five wounds, yellow represented the sun, hence light, and Christ "the Light of the world." Further enhancing this plant’s attractiveness were its amazing properties: the flowers exude a red substance when rubbed, and when emersed in oil they turn it a deep red and imbue it with healing properties, clearly symbolizing the blood of Christ! Due to so many factors, many traditions grew up around this plant: it was gathered on St. John’s feast day and hung over the doors and windows to discourage evil; maidens wore the plant in their hair; farmers fed it to their animals in a sandwich to ensure health.
St. John’s Wort is easily identified. When you hold the small rounded leaves up to the light, you will see tiny little holes. When you rub the lovely yellow flowers, your fingers will turn red. This is a beautiful and wonderfully useful plant. We have used it for years for our very favorite herbal remedy,St. John’s Wort Oil. It heals wounds, burns, swollen glands, sore muscles, and more. It can also be used internally, although some doctors don’t suggest it since it can create a sensitivity to light. Taken internally as tincture or tea, it is supposed to be extremely helpful for mild to moderate depression, anxiety, and nervous disorders like bed-wetting and fitful sleep. Read more about this wonderful plant, and learn how you can use it for your health. If you are creating an herb garden, this plant’s healing properties and beauty earn it a prominent position!
(Important Foraging Precautions)