St. John’s Wort

St. John's WortSt. John’s Wort is a sun loving, hardy, easily spreading, perennial with cheery yellow flowers that leave a resin with a purple-red stain on the hand when picked. If you look closely at the leaves and they are held up to the sunlight, you will notice little glands containing the resin that look like perforations the size of pin pricks.

It is typically in full bloom in midsummer and will continue to flower through September. It has been used medicinally since ancient times and is still prized today for its remarkable healing properties.

Latin Name: Hypernicum perforatum

Key Elements – Uplifting, Heals Wounds, Nerves

How to grow: From seeds, dividing roots in spring or taking cuttings in summer

Taste: Sweet, oily, warm, dry

Freshly picked St. John's Wort Flowers in a jar ready to make into an oil.

Freshly picked St. John’s Wort flowers in a jar ready to make into an oil.

Parts used: Bud, flower, and leaves

Plant preparations: Infusion, tincture, salve, oil, compress, liniment, lotion, capsules

Key constituents: Flavonoids, glycosides (hypericin), resin, saponins, tannins, volatile oils

Safety: Can cause photosensitivity in some people, may interact with prescription drugs



Medicinal Uses: Internal and external.

  • Traditional remedy for wounds, particularly puncture wounds and bites from animals
  • A key remedy for the nervous system
  • Used for nerve pains and injuries, inflammation and pain (sharp, shooting)
  • Sciatica, pinched nerves
  • Post operative pain and neuralgia
  • Slipped disc
  • Often used  to relax tension, stress and anxiety
  • Know for uplifting spirits (Seasonal Affective Disorder remedy/SAD); antidepressant
  • May be helpful for insomnia
  • Tetanus
  • Boosts immunity. Used for viral infections including influenza, shingles. herpes, polio, hepatitis C, HIV
  • Radiation protection
  • Frostbite
  • Considered a liver remedy, detoxifies, used for jaundice
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • May help eliminate parasites
  • Heavy, painful, irregular periods and  PMS symptoms
  • Diuretic
  • Bladder issues and bed wetting remedy for children
  • Clears phlegm from respiratory area
  • May make skin more sensitive to sunlight
  • Use salve or oil topically to soothe and heal burns, cuts, wounds, inflammation, sores and ulcers

Systems supported: digestive, nervous, respiratory, liver/gallbladder, kidneys/bladder, lymphatic, muscular and skeletal.

 Herbal Actions: Antidepressant, Anti-inflammatory, Antimicrobial, Astringent, Expectorant, Nervine, Sedative, Vulnerary.


For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.