About preparation and topical use of St. John’s Wort Oil (Hypericum Perforatum)
St John’s Wort has yellow flowers with small black dots along the petals. You can identify the plant in its most promising stage for harvesting when you gently rub a flower between your fingers it will stain them red. St. John’s Wort makes a brilliant and beautiful red medicinal oil, that is easy to make at home.
You can find the bright yellow flower growing along the roadside, and in sunny open fields in June, and early July. But stay away from roadways.
You use fresh St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) for the oil, gathered selectively in the wild. What I mean by selectively: Once you have harvested the herb, it should not be obvious to the eye that you have been picking some, and I suggest to never take all of the one plant, and never more than you need. I have learned over the years, that herbs are amazingly giving, and even small amounts can be the base for plenty effective homemade remedies.
And there is always time for a moment of gratitude while harvesting and preparing remedies, acknowledging that we benefit from mother nature’s amazing magical plant offerings. It can be a unique part, a ritual, of your very own process of making “good medicine”.
I wrote use the herb fresh, but depending on the moisture content it had when I picked it, I may want to wilt the herb before submerging it into the oil. I like to use olive oil or sunflower oil, they both work well.
You prepare St. John’s Wort oil by chopping the flowering upper parts, and steeping them in plant oil for four weeks (or even 6) in transparent glass jars placed in direct sunlight. Make sure the oil is covering all plant parts well and protect the jar mouth with cotton, cheesecloth or linen.
However it will turn red in the shade too, it just takes longer. I like the sun infusion concept! Check it regularly, visit the jar frequently, make sure the oil still covers the material, and you can shake it or stir it once in a while, talk to it, sing to it, and when you feel like the time has come, strain the plant matter, compost it, and then store the oil in a cool dark place.
You can also repeat this process with more herbs for a double extraction.
After straining you can add complimentary essential oils as well, or thicken the oil with the traditional beeswax or solid at room temperature plant based fats to make it into a salve.
St. John’s Wort oil can be used as a therapeutic topical remedy:
As infused oil, in compresses and poultices, as part of salves, balms and ointments, in lotions and creams, massage oils and aromatherapy roll-on blends.
Make sure you don’t use the oil topically before sun exposure, since it will greatly increase sun sensitivity, but it is excellent after sun exposure and for many skin issues, as well to reduce deep tissue inflammation.
This oil is ONLY for topical use, and please make sure you are not sensitive to any parts of the plant beforehand.
St John’s Wort is a strong natural medicinal herb, and it also has been shown to interact with several prescription drugs. Please be informed about possible interactions before using it, especially internally.