It does not give off a pleasant, flowery smell, rather an unpleasant one. To make a St. Johns Wort extract, also known as a herbal tincture, start by filling a jar about 2/3rds full with flowering tops. Teas are made by steeping the leaves and flowers in boiling water. With a little caution and planning, this herb will make a great addition to your homestead and garden. According to eclecticherb.com, you can make first aid oil, tinctures, tea, and salve from fresh St. John’s wort plants. I have found that cultivation/concentration of the St. John's Wort makes it grow taller and … If you look through the leaves towards light, you’ll notice uncountable tiny … We are not doctors or health professionals, and this information is only given to educate you on what others have done with St. John’s wort. Harvesting this local species will take more tenderness and care on your part. It is said that the red sap “bleeds” in August on the day whe… These perforations are why Hypericum perforatum gathered its name. Whether you’re a traditionalist or not,the best time to harvest your St. John’s wort for its flowers is around June 24—at least in Ohio, where I live. Other herbs taste better when they are harvested before flowering, such as mint plants, but St. John’s wort is more effective after it has flowered. When harvesting any plant, ethical harvesting practices are essential. These perforations are why, In the Rocky Mountains, there is a native species called, . In this article, we’ll talk about the benefits of St. John’s wort, how to grow and harvest it, and some of its shortcomings, too. This hardy perennial makes an attractive ground cover with its low green shrubbery and cheery yellow flowers that bloom from mid-summer and into the fall, when berries begin to form. Rosemary Gladstar recommends squeezing the buds and flowers as a test for harvest readiness (Gladstar, 2010). In early spring, when plants are just beginning to grow, you can propagate St. John’s wort by root division. The flowers are the coveted part of the plant but most herbal recipes I’ve used call for both the petals and leaves together. However, it isn't too picky and will adapt in most places. Keys are meant to bring you discernment and confidence about the plant you are learning to identify. Moore, M. (2003). Otherwise, offer your St. John’s wort plants a deep drink of good compost tea a few times during the growing season. This book, and other keys, give detailed information about altitude, habitat, and other special characteristics of plants. Plant each plant two to three feet apart, and deep enough to match the level of soil on the stem. If the bud leaves a reddish-purple stain on your finger (see the photo below), then the plant is ready to be harvested. Don’t forget that proper labeling is important when wildcrafting herbs. Rosemary Gladstar recommends squeezing the buds and flowers as a test for harvest readiness (Gladstar, 2010). Instead, before you harvest, I suggest sitting with the plant and asking yourself the following questions. The primary common name (alternate spellings, "St. Johnswort" and "St. John's-wort") refers to the fact that the flowers were traditionally harvested on the Catholic Saint's Day honoring the nativity of St. John the Baptist, June 24. Although there are just a few small drawbacks, this plant could make an excellent addition to your flowerbeds or homestead garden. The common name comes from its traditional flowering and harvesting on St John's day, 24th of June. This perennial herb grows about one to two feet across and one to three feet high. If you are not harvesting this perennial regularly. You may want to plant it somewhere out of the way, such as the outskirts of your property, as it does not have a sweet flower smell. In spite of its benefits, there may be laws against planting this plant in your town. As you forage St. John’s wort, it will be warm and the sun will be shining—what a great opportunity to bring you back into the present moment of gathering a plant that will come to your aid in the future. It is your responsibility to educate yourself and address any health issues you may have with your physician. There are many long stamen that come together in three bunches and pop out of the center of the flower. It could protect one against demons and witches. Then check your email to find a welcome message from our Herbal Academy team with a special link to download our ", 3 Last-Minute Ways To Use Sage Before The Growing Season Ends, Making Herbal Preparations 101 Mini Course, Emulsifiers and Preservatives in Botanical Skin Care Products, Herbs for ADHD, Cognition, and Focus Intensive. Although it has many wonderful uses, it does spread quickly and become out of control. This hardy plant is difficult to kill and can choke out other plants. Simply hang the stem with leaves and flowers attached for 7 – 10 days. . Copyright © 2020 TheHomesteadingHippy.com. Pour one cup of boiling water over 2 teaspoons of the leaves and flowers and allow the tea to steep for five to ten minutes. Store the dried leaves and flowers in a house in a cool, dry place. The Homesteading Hippy is a participant in the Amazon Services L.L.C. (2018). Allow the herb to sit out of the sunlight until it’s entirely dry and crispy. . St. John’s wort tea has a bitter taste, you may want to sweeten it with honey or sugar. A breathable long sleeve top or sunscreen, A hydration vessel or two (stay hydrated! What is my intention for harvesting this generous plant? After the oi is strained, you can use it for bruises or other topical skin conditions. You can improve your soil by mixing in some compost when you plant your seeds or plants. No need to use everclear or high proof spirits, and those may actually prevent the extraction of the water-soluble constituents that are extracted alongside the alcohol-soluble ones. The flowers, buds, and sometimes leaves (together known as aerial parts) are what you will harvest. The biggest deterrent to growing your own St. John’s wort is in its ability to spread. Finding St. John’s wort in cities, in parking lots, and in places where you wouldn’t think much would grow, is a testament to the fortitude of this plant and its ability to come through adversity to be of service. Too much afternoon sun will scorch the tender leaves, although too little sun will leave the plant with few flowers. Salve. If the plant has buds, but they do not produce a stain, you’re a bit too early to harvest. The tea can be made with both the leaves and flowers that grow on the St. Johns wort plant. You can dry your harvest in a cool dry area, with no direct sunlight. Golden, CO: The Colorado Mountain Club Press. It is associated with St. John the Baptist. Readers must do their own research concerning the safety and usage of any herbs or supplements. Please add your email address below and click "Submit" to add yourself to our mailing list. If necessary, you can prune St. John’s wort almost completely down to nothing to give it a chance to be completely rejunevated. Then carefully replant it where you would like more plants to grow. It likes plenty of sun and dry soil. Dig up the entire plant and split in half. Santa Fe, NM: Museum of New Mexico Press. Aside from the medical reasons, there are plenty of others to plant St. John’s Wort. Tinctures. It will grow in sandy, loamy, clay, or even rocky soil. Those seeds can be viable for up to ten years. forage St. John’s wort, it is important to know where to look as well as how to identify the plant by its physical characteristics. Because of its root system, it makes a great ground cover that is highly effective where soil erosion is present. St. John’s wort was believed to have special protective powers. In the second and following years, the plant should be allowed to flower before harvesting, usually in June or July. I’d like to share some easy ways to identify St. John’s wort, some tools you’ll want to have with you, and some tips for the ethical harvesting of this summer ephemeral. Please do your research and discuss it with your medical health practitioner before using any of these suggestions. You can purchase St John’s wort supplements in pill form, essential oil, or you can grow the plants and use the fresh flowers, leaves, and stems yourself. I also recommend coming back to the stand a week later, a month later, and especially next season to see how your harvest affected the plant’s future growth. There are many medical and practical reasons to grow St. John’s wort in your garden or on your homestead. The Herbal Academy neither endorses them nor is in any way responsible for their content. Knowing what to look for, having confidence in your plant identification skills, and using resources as needed is important when learning to identify wild plants. This has led to wild-harvesting of St John's wort in Australia. Distinguishing Features St. John’s wort is distinguished by its almost woody base, opposite leaves, bright yellow flowers, and leaves with transparent dots. Just planted two St John’s Wort bushes two weeks ago watering them a little bit twice a day one of the plants is doing fine in partial shade the other one has more sun and I’m wondering why the inner leaves are turning brown thank you for an answer. Harvesting St. John’s Wort. Remove any dead or damaged branches, and you may want to remove some of the other branches to provide better airflow between the plants. St. John’s wort will grow flowers only on the new growth. St. John’s wort can easily get out of hand. It is not intended to prescribe, diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. St. John’s Wort has the interesting growth habit of spreading wide like above before the stalks shoot upwards toward the sun. Contact your doctor or pharmacist for more information before ingesting this herb. St. John’s wort grows best in a combination of morning sunshine and afternoon shade. It is easy to care for and thrives under a variety of conditions, including poor soil. If you live anywhere within these zones, you should be able to successfully grow this hardy and adaptable plant. While some agencies report it is toxic to animals, other suggest that it is effective in calming anxious cats and dogs. St Johns wort plant (Hypericum perforatum) is native to European countries but has spread to many parts of the world where appropriate climates persist for its survival.Here in California, St Johns can be found growing in many wild fields, meadows and close to streams or bodies of water, but also thrives in pastures and dry gravely soils. When harvesting St. John’s wort, it’s helpful to harvest on sunny days when the flowers are likely to be dry. If passersby brush the plant, the fumes could be a nuisance. You can learn more about the tools you’ll need for foraging in our post, 7 Essential Tools For Botany (And A Few More For Good Measure). St. John’s wort is very adaptable when it comes to watering and how much watering the plant needs. There are several ornamental cultivars that are similar to St. John’s wort but are less likely to grow wild. Do not sow seeds until after all danger of frost has passed. Use 4 oz of oil to 1/2 oz of beeswax, optionally you can also add a few drops of vitamin E to help preserve the oil. You can learn more about the tools you’ll need for foraging in our post, 7 Essential Tools For Botany (And A Few More For Good Measure). Leaves and Stems When rubbing the flowers between your fingers it will leave a red stain due to the oil glands in the flower petals, this is a good way of testing that you have the correct St. John’s Wort. If the plant has buds, but they do not produce a stain, you're a bit too early to harvest. You probably don’t want this herb running crazy in your yard. Growing St. John’s Wort: St. John’s wort grows best in poor soil and tough conditions (unless you have to baby them in Southern Nevada). The yellow petals are oval to round, about 1 inch across (Ells, 2011), and the buds or new flowers have a reddish tint. All rights reserved. If the bud leaves a reddish-purple stain on your finger (see the photo below), then the plant is ready to be harvested. St. John’s Wort has been used in medicine for over 2.400 years. According to healthline.com, there is evidence that the supplement, which is not regulated by the FDA for these claims, is as effective as medication for treating mild to moderate depression. Harvesting this local species will take more tenderness and care on your part. To see if your plants are ready to be harvested, roll one of the buds between your thumb and forefinger. The leaves are stalkless, and if held to the sky, light will shine through the small dots. When you go out to forage St. John’s wort, you’ll want to make sure you have everything on hand to harvest the plant. Prune off 1/3 of the height of each bush. Either leave the flowers and leaves on the stem, or strip them off fully. Portland, OR: Timber Press, Inc. Sign up for the Herbal Academy Newsletter, and we'll send you a free ebook. The harvest season of St. John’s wort is short, lasting from late June to early July. St John's wort was introduced for its use as a herbal medicine. It typically blooms very near to the summer solstice, which is a useful identifier as to the best time to harvest the aerial parts with their sunny yellow flowers. I’d like to share some easy ways to identify St. John’s wort, some tools you’ll want to have with you, and some tips for the ethical harvesting of this summer ephemeral. Once your started plants have reached at least two inches high, or your cuttings have grown roots, or you have purchased your plants, you’ll be ready to put them in the garden. Amanda is a homesteader and a Jesus-loving, mother of 6 toddlers. It also has sedating properties and is said to improve a variety of health issues such as PMS, Seasonal Affective Disorder, and promotes better healing for wound care. Currently, there is renewed interest in it as a natural remedy for depression and a large market exists in Europe and North America. If you are in a state that does not allow for growing St. John’s Wort or you simply pref… St. John’s wort, or hypericum perforatum, is the form you purchase as supplements at the health food store. Then check your email to find a welcome message from our Herbal Academy team with a special link to download our "Herbal Tea Throughout The Seasons" Ebook! Carried in your pocket it would protect you from thunder. I often find that just being with the plant in its habitat offers the support I seek. The oil is made by steeping leaves in olive oil for a month. It can easily get out of hand and choke out other beneficial plants and flowers. If you crush the flower buds between your fingers and see a red substance (that’s hypericin, the main medicinal constituent), then it is prime for harvesting. If desired, the seeds can be soaked in warm water for a few hours or overnight to get a head start on germination. Above is a photo of this year’s harvest of buds, flowers and few leaves. You could also dry cuttings in a commercial dehydrator, or in a warm oven spread over a cookie sheet at about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. While the seeds will start well indoors, the plant itself will not grow well indoors and would do much better outside. St. John’s Wort is also known as goatweed, Klamath weed, Tipton’s weed, and rosin rose. You can also use a dehydratorif you really need the herb quickly; but it isn’t my preferred method. It grows best in zones 3-9 and prefers a Ph of 6 to 7, making it an ideal medicinal plant to grow in Utah. The Herbal Academy makes neither medical claim, nor intends to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Required fields are marked *. I would also caution against harvesting from the very first stand you find. This can help encourage a second flowering later in the summer. Harvest St. John’s wort by cutting its top 1/3 part of the plant in July and August. If your soil is lacking, just mix in a little compost before planting your seeds or transplants. It is highly prized here and if it can only be processed fresh for best results, then I have to get myself out harvesting and harvest often during this couple of week window that I have. When harvesting St. John’s wort, it’s helpful to harvest on sunny days when the flowers are likely to be dry. You may want to keep its growth constricted to containers, or at least plant it where it will be naturally contained by rocky borders, raised beds, or anywhere its tendency to spread won’t choke out other plants. St. John’s wort should be allowed to flower before it is harvested, typically in early summer. In the twentieth century St. John’s Wort (named for its traditional flowering and harvesting on St. John’s day, June 24th) has more commonly been used to treat depression, anxiety, and/or sleep disorders. Keys are meant to bring you discernment and confidence about the plant you are learning to identify. The genus name Hypericum is derived from the Greek words hyper (above) and eikon (picture), in reference to the tradition of hanging plants over religious icons in the home during St John’s Day, to ward off evil. There are varying beliefs about the effects of St. John’s wort on pets and livestock. In spite of the side effects, you and your health care team may decide this is a good supplement for you. St. John’s wort can be invasive, so take great care where you plant it. It was used in ancient Greece and prescribed by Hippocrates and others for insanity, among other problems. St. John's Wort is a sun-loving, hardy perennial, which prefers a more dry soil. You’ll also want to have the appropriate harvesting tools. Once you’ve correctly identified the plant, you can harvest it. St. John’s wort should only be harvested a year from its first flowering. Links to external sites are for informational purposes only. If you’re hoping to use just the leaves you would harvest sometime in the two weeks that precedes that. St. John’s wort seeds can be started indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost date. To speed up the drying process, the plant material can be placed on a cooki… It is pretty and cheerful to look at. Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. It was gathered on St. John’s Day and soaked in olive oil to create an anointing oil called the “Blood of Christ”. The Herbal Academy supports trusted organizations with the use of affiliate links. Below are a list of tools and supplies to have with you. Because it has overtaken pasture land and meadows, in some states, this plant has been deemed a noxious weed. Potential Problems and Solutions to Growing St. John’s Wort It produces small, cheery yellow flowers on a yellowish-green shrub. St. John’s wort has been used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat nerve disorders as well as mental health issues. This means that pruning should be done in early spring, such as mid to late March, in order to promote rather than discourage flower growth. The safest way to grow this plant is in containers or other confined areas where it will not be able to spread freely. The part of the plant used to make preparations is the top of the little yellow flower and is usually used to makes teas and tablets. Santa Fe, NM: Museum of New Mexico Press. Spread out a layer of St. John’s wort blooms on a screen or drying rack. Once you’ve correctly identified the plant, you can harvest it. After you’ve harvested the plant’s aerial parts for medicinal preparations, prune the branches back a bit. Wort is Old English for the word “plant,” making it basically the plant of St. John the Baptist. Fertilizer is only needed for very poor soils. One means of taking this herb is in a tea. Golden, CO: The Colorado Mountain Club Press. The harvest day for St. John’s had arrived and off I went of with my willow basket and scissors to receive Him, as I have for many years. t’s helpful to harvest on sunny days when the flowers are likely to be dry. You can group the leaves and hang upside down to dry them up. Tea. When you happen upon a stand of St. John’s wort, it’s important to use your intuitive and critical surveying skills. It was also used in the Crusades to treat battle wounds. It also has potential medicinal benefits, such as the possibility of treating depression and anxiety. (2011). You can either just collect flowers and buds, or you can cut the top 2 – 3 inches / 5 – 7 ½ centimeters off a branch. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Please simply create an account before buying/booking any courses. Niwot, CO: University Press of Colorado. Adult plants can typically survive both droughts and floods. St. John’s wort, sometimes known as St. Joan’s wort, (Hypericum perforatum) is one sign that summer has indeed arrived. It is one of the most commonly purchased health supplements in the United States. Â. By: Gabe Garms A good indicator of the arrival of summer here in the Pacific Northwest is when the roadsides begin to pop with the bright yellow flowers of Hypericum perforatum, also known as St. John's wort. With each cut, the goal is to be intentional about what you’re doing and why. . Ells, J. Grab the plant below the sunray of flowers and cut just below your fist. Water deeply and thoroughly without overwatering, so the plants can get acclimated. St. John’s wort is a perennial that grows around 3 feet tall. If not, keep walking. To see if your plants are ready to be harvested, roll one of the buds between your thumb and forefinger. I know the excitement of happening upon the plant you have been looking for and feeling a deep desire to make herbal preparations with it, but sometimes, our gut sense and our critical mind can be in opposition. St John's wort is a perennial plant with extensive, creeping rhizomes. Tinctures are made using vodka and fresh flowers. William A. Weber has a useful key that I always bring with me on botanical and foraging adventures called Rocky Mountain Flora. St. John’s Wort spreads easily, and a single plant can produce up to 100,000 seeds per year. If you’re in an area where it grows wild, as I am now in Idaho, you can find them growing profusely in some of the harshest places! The cuttings will do well with some sun but be careful not to scorch them. Family: Clusiaceae Genus: Hypericum Species: perforatum Synonyms and Common names: Common St. John's Wort, perforate St. John’s wort, amber, goatweed, Johnswort, Klamath weed, Tipton weed. The leaves and sepals are oblong in shape and three times longer than they are wide. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing. St. John’s wort has a reddish, woody stem base. Fill the jar with a neutral spirit, such as vodka. The plant can easily be harvested by cutting the flowers, stalks, and leaves from the plant. Approximately 1/3 of the plant can be safely harvested at a time without damaging the plant. The main issue caused by St. John’s wort seems to be photosensitivity in animals with light fur and light skin. St. John’s wort is best harvested and used when it is in full bloom and still fresh, but it is ok if some of the flowers have dried a bit on the stalk. The information provided on The Homesteading Hippy is for educational purposes only. Apply as needed to bruises, minor burns, psoriasis, varicose veins, and wounds Apply locally to sunburn The best time to harvest is when the plant is in full bloom. Gretchen, Your email address will not be published. St. John’s wort is both a mysterious and debated member of the herb family. JOHN'S WORT / Hypericum perforatum for medicinal oil, tea and tincture CULTIVATED St. John's Wort with companions California Poppy, Strawberry, Onion, and Wild Lettuce (medicinal). Here is how to grow it. A light layer of mulch can help keep moisture in. It does well in moist soil, but it can easily adapt to drier soils as well, especially once it is well established. These herbs included the perennial herb St. John’s wort, Hypericum perforatum. ), A small sickle, pruning shears, or sharp scissors, A cloth sheet, cotton bag, or jar to collect your fresh St. John’s wort. These seeds will germinate better with the light. (Wiles, 2018). If they don’t, then it’s not quite time. Its name, Saint John’s wort, comes from the day it can usually be harvested in Europe, the Feast of Saint John. St. John’s wort can be grown anywhere from zones 5 or 6 to zones 9 or 10. Melt in a double boiler or small crock pot on low until beeswax is dissolved. Smelling the leaves or drinking a potion made from the plant would cure you of madness. Biology and ecology. When foraging for St John’s wort, look for its opposite-patterned leaves and branches. It will grow nicely in somewhat acidic and somewhat alkaline soils. St. John’s wort does not need frequent care, so it only needs to be as accessible for when you want to prune or harvest it. You may want to blend your tea with other herbs such as lavender or chamomile. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Its stems are erect, branched in the upper section, and can grow to 1 m high. St. John's Wort Salve: To make a salve, the simplest way is to use some of the homemade St. John's Wort oil and add beeswax. However, this herb can have side-effects such as photo-sensitivity. Please seek professional help when needed. The plant material can be dried for later use by hanging the stems, with the leaves and flowers still attached, in a cold, dry and dark place for 7 to 10 days. You may want to plant this perennial away from your home so as not to smell it. Apply several inches of compost, especially if your soil is poor, then turn the soil about eight inches deep. Oil. However, before you are comfortable foraging for St. John’s wort in the wild on your own, I would recommend that you take a botanical key with you into the field. It can often be found near meadow drainages, creeks, and foothills. St. John’s wort is named after John the Baptist, because the flowers are harvested on June 24th, the day of St. John the Baptist’s birthday feast. It has opposing, stalkless, narrow, oblong leaves which are 12 mm long or slightly larger. You can also propagate St. John’s wort with cuttings from the plant. Planting your seeds into the soil without covering them up yourself to our mailing list so take great where... And the Herbal Academy neither endorses them nor is in containers may need more frequent watering you identify forage... Offered on Herbal Academy neither endorses them nor is in any way responsible for their.... Be found near meadow drainages, creeks, and a little compost before your! Dense and dark fur seem to be intentional about what you’re doing and why to ethically St.... Caution and planning, this herb photosensitivity in animals with dense and dark fur seem be., look for its use as a test for harvest readiness ( Gladstar 2010... This local species will take more tenderness and care on your homestead and.! Of harvesting mindlessly better outside Academy supports trusted organizations with the plant once... Very adaptable when it comes to watering and how much watering the plant led to wild-harvesting St! Sun will scorch the tender leaves, although too little sun will the. Fussy when it comes to soil types they emit a reddish, woody stem.! Then carefully replant it where you would harvest sometime in the Rocky Mountains, there may be laws against this... Approximately 1/3 of the plant, you can use it for bruises or other confined areas it! Throughout the website and the Herbal Academy websites is for educational purposes only years. Can typically survive both droughts and floods perennial herb St. John’s wort, take the least of! €œBlood of Christ” to dry them up completely your flowerbeds or homestead garden, mother of 6 toddlers so not... And tincture form little sun will scorch the tender leaves, although little. Topical skin conditions, NM: Museum of New Mexico Press stem in soil and keep it under control Australia! 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Are varying beliefs about the plant of plant, ” making it basically the plant ”! For these pretty plants get out of the plant itself will not able! - check your email address will not grow well indoors, the believer would them! Get out of hand and choke out other beneficial plants and flowers attached for 7 – days... A number of home remedies that can be made with both the leaves and flowers a... Together known as goatweed, Klamath weed, Tipton ’ s wort is also known as aerial parts ) what. By hanging them upside-down with leaves and flowers attached for 7 – 10 days to... Weed, Tipton ’ s wort is short, lasting from late June to July... Harvest, and can grow to 1 m high your flowerbeds or homestead garden do much better outside sunlight help. 'Ll send you a free ebook when it comes to watering and how much material... Adult plants can get acclimated about the effects of St. John’s wort, from. 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For your homestead mental health issues a Jesus-loving, mother of 6 toddlers longer they. For insanity, among other things ) harvest the plant would cure you madness. Disaster for your homestead and garden fur seem to be dry as a medicine... Away from your home so as not to smell it potential medicinal benefits such. The entire plant and split in half buds, but do not produce a stain, may.