St. John’s wort, a sun herb against the darkness of the soul

St. John’s wort, a simple wild plant, used for centuries as a first aid for the skin, has now been a top medicine against depression for years. We already find a reference to the gloom-dispelling effect in its old names such as ‘fuga daemonum’, chasing devil, sun herb and light herb. Sankt Johann is the
last day of his life when the summer season comes to an end for the Christian who is thankful for his prayers and for the sick , he is the only one who lives there,
the spirit is there for the sun.

St. John’s wort is once again sung by contemporary poets, as was also the case in earlier times. Just listen to this 16th century poem:
StJohn’ Wort doth charm all the witches away
If gathered at midnight on the saint’s holy dayAnd devils and witches have no power to harmThose that do gather the plant for a charm.

And just as it was once used against devils and evil witches who had entered man, so it is now prescribed against similar ailments called depression and stress. It is the light of the sunweed against the darkness of the depression devil.
Especially in the Middle Ages, Hypericum was described as a fuga daemonum, a hunting devil as it is known even today. Many old names such as Teufelsflucht and Walpurgisnacht, but also sayings of Dodonaeus … the flower of Sint-Janscruydt … which is considered good to make all sorceries and quade belesingen powerless, refer to the anti-demonic or gloom-dispelling powers of St. John’s wort.
Following on from Dodonaeus, we find some remarkable recipes in the Thesaurus exorcismorum from 1626, where a mixture of chamomile, rose and stjans oil was used for those who are generally disordered and mentally confused. I especially like the name of this recipe, Quibus indispositis. We still use the term kwibus.
The same book also mentions a fumigation agent or suffumigium to drive out demons. Burning St. John’s wort has always been a widely used method and is still used symbolically during midsummer celebrations. Hypericum as a light bringer is further enhanced here by the use of fire, even on the longest, brightest day of the year. It should therefore no longer surprise anyone that St. John’s wort is good against winter depression. Back in the field, our plant is being promoted with a lot of bravado and a lot of money by all the small herbal companies and all the major pharmaceutical companies against mild to moderate depression. Finally recognition for such an ordinary plant.

The unusual of the ordinary

It is common, our Latin Hypericum perforatum is a common perennial on poor sandy soil along roads and old railways. Its yellow flowers emerge at the end of June, around Sint-Jan and are therefore picked at the beginning of that flowering. The dark dots on the leaves are certainly not holes caused by the devil, but oil cells that contain a red dye, to which the plant owes its healing effect.
The fact that such an ordinary weed can have such special properties has always appealed to me. Wonder and admiration for the ordinary, the self-evident makes life extra attractive. Especially in the natural garden we need that sense of wonder to be able to enjoy a simple plant such as St. John’s wort or Plantain. They are beautiful enough, we just got tired of them. We always want new impressions and so we replace the worn-out plants with new models. Nothing against it, but perhaps instead of renewing our garden and environment, we can learn to look at things differently ourselves. Perhaps we need to undergo a spiritual overhaul ourselves.

So St. John’s wort in our yellow spiritual garden

Hypericum perforatum is currently the only species from the Stagweed family that is used medicinally. It is also the most widespread species in Belgium and the only one with the name SintJan, other native species are the recumbent, the winged, the shaggy and the beautiful deer. A nice collection of pleasant names, not usable, but I think they are welcome. Furthermore, various shrubby Hypericums are offered as ornamental plants in garden centers. These shrubs are also not used medicinally, although the active substance hypericin is present in, among others. Hypericum calycinum.
We have divided our herbaceous ornamental garden into a yellow-white and a purple-pink section. The yellow part can consist of St. John’s wort (depression), different varieties of Feverfew (migraine), Roman and Chamomile (skin, intestine), Lady’s Mantle (menstruation), the yellow variety of Marigold (skin), Goldenrod (kidneys). , Yarrow (jack of all trades) and some higher perennials such as Fennel (intestinal cramp) and Black Cohosh (hormonal). An easy and cheerful garden for tired and stressed people. Even without eating it, this will make you healthier.

St. John’s wort externally and internally

In the advertising frenzy about the good effect of Hypericum on depression, we would forget that the carob flowers were and are mainly used as a first aid on the skin, for sunburn, burns and abrasions and herpes blisters. This classic remedy that we can make ourselves is St. John’s oil, an infusion of fresh hypericum flowers and flower buds in sunflower or olive oil.

A recipe looks like this:

About 25 grams of fresh flowers and flower buds are crushed with a little olive oil in a glass or glass mortar, mixed with the rest of 0.5 liters of oil. Place this mixture in a white glass preserving jar. Leave the open jar in the sun for 2 to 4 days. Stir every day. Then close the jar and leave it in the sun for a few weeks until the Sintjans oil turns nice red.
Sift the oil and squeeze out the removed flowers. Leave the preparation for another week without stirring, the oil will now separate from the water from the plants. The oil is then carefully poured off and placed in small bottles. The scent, effectiveness and storage time can be improved by adding 1% lavender essential oil, approximately 20 drops to 100cc of St. John’s oil.
Hypericum perforatum is about the only plant that is grown in full sun . Research has now shown that this increases the flavonoid content by up to 4 times. A good reason not to simply write off some old preparation methods.

Other preparation methods.

St. John’s wort can also be dried well and easily to make herbal tea. It gives a nice red tea that tastes reasonable.
An alcohol decoction of 30 to 70% may also be used, especially interesting for internal use in case of stress, mild depression or if you are just feeling down .
Of course, John’s wort has been used, rightly or wrongly, for many other ailments in the past. This is not surprising for a herb that affects the vegetative nervous system. because it is precisely that system that regulates all autonomic processes such as digestion and heart rate.
It goes without saying that St. John’s wort is becoming popular especially in our stressful times. It is the herb that today’s people need most. Light, air, St. John’s wort and some other thing make for happy people.

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