Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Hypericum perforatum/ St. John's Wort

Been a walking out in the countryside -on the old railway line connecting Welwyn and Hertford, it is a lovely spot. I met up with Tasha, who has just graduated from Lincoln University as Medical Herbalist –woohoo- congratulations you.

She has a brilliant blog – check it out.

She was after some elderflowers for champagne n I had eyes for the Hypericum perforatum or St. John's wort, herb of the sun with his bright yellow flowers that stain ones fingers deep red as you pick it.

So who was St. John???

The Order of St.John of Jerusalem - the monastic community that ran the hospital for the pilgrims in the Holy Land 1048.

"Wort derives from the Old English wyrt, which simply meant plant. The word goes back even further, to the common ancestor of English and German, to the Germanic wurtiz. By the way, wurtiz evolved into the modern German word Wurzel, meaning root."

The Hypericum is Greek for 'over an apparition' I think this is indicative of its anti depressing properties -mental health issues were commonly though of to be a form of possession.

I am using my picked flowers to make some oil -I firstly dried them out for a couple of nights to prevent moulding in the oil and then filled a glass jar and covered with organic almond oil.

It is extra exciting because left for a while out in the sun the pale yellow oil will turn a deep red colour.........

This oil is then used in our hypericum lip balms which are great for cold sores -the antiviral properties of the plant shorten attackes
-and in our healing balm mixed with lavender and calendula oils.

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