St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort (Guan Ye Lian Qiao)
Botanical Name: Western – Hypericum perforatum. Eastern – Herba Hypericum.
St. John’s wort is a yellow flower that can lift your spirits and help stop bleeding. It can be used with other herbs to help detox the liver but it is best known for relieving stress, depression and anxiety. It is especially useful for revitalizing and stabilizing disorders tied to a disrupted nervous system, from digestive disorders to emotional upsets.
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Below is an overview of St. John’s wort, combining the best of Western Science, Oriental Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore, and a wide range of healing modalities. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of St. John’s wort.
How to take FULL advantage of St. John’s Wort's healing powers...
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Also Known As: Tipton’s Weed, Chase-Devil, Klamath Weed, Touch and Heal, Goat Weed
Organs/Systems: Lungs, Intestines, Kidney, Blood, Nervous System
Key Actions: Anti-inflammatory, Antidepressant, Promotes Tissue Repair, Analgesic, Antibacterial, Antiviral, Antifungal, Anti-anxiety, Relaxant, Stimulant, Antioxidant
Medicinal Uses: Anxiety, depression, OCD, insomnia, minor wounds and burns, eczema, PMS, menopausal symptoms including hot flashes, mood swings, and fatigue, skin cancer, psoriasis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), hemorrhoids, nerve pain, chronic fatigue, AIDS, hepatitis, leukemia, sciatica, colds and flu, tuberculosis.
Also Known As: Tu Lian Qiao, Guan Ye Jin Si Tao
Meridians: Lung, Spleen, Heart, Uterus
Key Actions: Clears Heat, Eliminates Toxins, Reduces Swellings, Stops Bleeding, Dispels Wind Damp, Calms Shen, Smooths Qi, Regulates Liver Qi
Medicinal Uses: Carbuncles, snake and bug bites, sores, bleeding due to trauma urinary tract infections, red eyes, tonsillitis, hemoptysis, hematemesis, PMS, menopause symptoms, relieves muscle aches and pains, treats depression, anxiety, sorrow, headaches, colds and flu, bronchitis, tuberculosis (TB), eczema, skin cancer.
St. John’s wort is a perennial herb with extensive creeping rhizomes. Its stems are erect and branched in the upper section. It has opposing stalkless, narrow oblong leaves with transparent dots throughout the tissue and occasionally a few black dots on the lower surface. When held to the light the translucent dots appear transparent. Yellow flowers appear in broad cymes at the ends of upper branches, between late spring and mid summer. The sepals are pointed with glandular dots in tissue and many stamens that unite at base into three bundles. When flower buds (not the flower themselves) or seeds are crushed a reddish/purple liquid is produced. Reproduces both vegetivalely and sexually. The whole plant gives off an incense-like aroma.
Indigenous to Europe, introduced to many temperate areas of the world, grows wild in meadows. Thrives in areas with either a winter or summer dominant rainfall pattern and distribution restricted by temperatures that drop too low for seeds to germinate. Seeds can persist for decades in the soil seed bank. In some areas even considered a noxious weed. Likes gravelly soils.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Leaf, Flower
Flavors/Temps: Bitter, Acrid, Astringent, Neutral
Caution: Considered safe. Some people may experience dry mouth, headache, photosensitivity, or upset stomach.
Key Constituents: Hyperforin, Hypericin, Hyperside, Essential Oil, Tannins, Flavonoids, Resins, Glycosides, Carotenes, Pectin, Hyproside
History/Folklore: St. John’s Wort is best known for treating anxiety, depression, and mood swings associated with hormonal conditions such as PMS and menopause. The herb can be used externally to treat skin conditions from eczema, to psoriasis, to minor wounds and burns. The herb has powerful anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal properties. It has also been shown to help fight skin cancers.
St John’s Worts common name comes from the flower being harvested on St John’s Day, June 24th. The genus name Hypericum comes from the Greek words hyper (above) and eikon (picture) in reference to the traditional usage of the plant to ward off evil by hanging the plants over religious icons on St John’s day. The species name perforatum refers to the presence of small oil glands on the leaves that look like windows when held against the light (i.e. light perforating the leaves).
It has been used to heal sword wounds as far back as the Middle Ages. The Crusaders used the plant’s red oil to soothe and heal wounds. It was said that stepping on St John’s Wort at dusk meant a night spent on the back of a fairy horse. Christians identify the herb with St John saying the plant’s red pigment is St. John’s blood from his beheading. St John is the patron saint of love, loyalty, friendships, authors, and of hospitals and the sick. He was one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus known for among other things, acts of healing.
General treatments dose at 300mg to 1000mg daily. Macerating the flowers in oil yields a red sedative, analgesic rub that can help to alleviate neuralgia. St John’s Wort can be used as a homeopathic remedy to help heal post-surgery, cuts and wounds.
St. John’s Wort contains a range of antioxidant compounds that have been shown to have a significant impact on the hormonal, physical, and chemical behavior of the body. By eliminating chronic stress hormones in the body the herb can help improve overall health, cognitive function, and the negative effects stress can have on the body and health.
St. John’s Wort has been shown to regulate hormone balance in the body that aids rebalancing metabolism and the circadian rhythms that help regulate sleep, mood, and fatigue.
St. John’s Wort has been used topically during pregnancy to help treat hemorrhoids and stretch marks that can become irritated or painful throughout the pregnancy.
The flowers bloom midsummer and when the buds are crushed they turn blood red, the color associated with wounds, menses, fertility, and childbirth. It was felt that the plant was most potent during this period. The 17th century English herbalist, Culpeper, wrote, “The decoction of the herb and flowers… is [also] good for those that are bitten or stung by any venomous creature.”
The fresh leaves can be tossed in salads and the fresh flowers can be used as edible garnish in salads.
St John’s wort is believed to give a person courage, protection, and help a person detect other magicians. It was perceived as a symbol of immortality by the Ancient Greeks and Romans, who also viewed it as a symbol of nobility and victory. It can be used to help a person face their fears and conquer them. Being golden yellow like the sun, it is viewed as shedding light in dark places and nourishing the soul back to its place in the sun.
Want St. John’s Wort (Guan Ye Lian Qiao)?
Not For Livestock
Expel Ghosts and Devils
Associated with Midsummer
How to use St. John’s Wort (Guan Ye Lian Qiao) and take FULL advantage of it's healing powers!
Find out how to safely use this powerful herb and get specific recipes you can make use of immediately. Dive deep into Eastern and Western perspectives about HOW and WHY this herb works. Includes uses, benefits, essential oils, gardening tips, and much, much more.
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