St. John’s Wort

SJW!!! I love it:))



It does so many things… skin issues like bumps and bruises, burns, internal viral infections, depression, sunscreen and it also helps my friends and customers with their neuropathy.

St. John’s Wort actions are:

Vulnerary: (of a drug, plant, etc.) of use in the healing of wounds.

Nervine: (of a medicine) used to calm the nerves.

Anti-depressive: an antidepressant drug.

Antiviral: an antiviral drug or medicine.

Bacteriostatic: A bacteriostatic agent or bacteriostat, abbreviated Bstatic, is a biological or chemical agent that stops bacteria from reproducing, while not necessarily harming them otherwise.

Anti-Inflammatory: (chiefly of a drug) used to reduce inflammation.

Astringent: causing the contraction of body tissues, typically of the skin.


See why it is so AWESOME???!

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Bumble Bee on SJW plant in the field by an apple tree…


When people ask me about it, or if I have the opportunity to talk their ear off about it;), I tell them this~

“For depression, it is like sunshine in a bottle! Use it when you feel a bit depressed over having a baby (haha!) or when just getting over that glum at the end of winter. You only have to take it for a short time to ward off that depression. You take a dropperful once in the morning and once at night before bed. You will start to feel it’s affects within a couple weeks; it sneaks up on you and you start to feel better before you even know it. The feeling is like all of sudden being like water off a duck’s back… small things just don’t bother you as much as usual:) Then, one day, you will forget to take it… because you don’t need it anymore. But be careful, it is said to make people sun sensitive when used internally and you have to make sure to take caution of easily sunburning.  For external issues, I use it to help with healing bumps, bruises, sore muscles, sunburn and neuropathy.”



For depression, a recent study on turmeric was released, and it seems to indicate that it is just as strong or better than prozac. I personally feel that all psychotropic medication is bad for humans and herbal is the way to go. So that may be an even better alternative when it comes to treating clinical depression.

Staying herbal takes away the risk of addiction and children getting into your medication and harming themselves. SJW does not react with any other medications either, so you can start it while trying to get off your harsh prescriptions too, which is a Godsend!

What is so funny is that I call it two different names when I think of how I am going to use it. I call it SJW when I want to think of it’s internal medicinal actions, and when I think of how it used topically, I call it hypericum oil. It’s scientific name is hypericum perforatum. What is so nice about this plant, is that there is not other species out there to confuse a harvester.

Topically, it is noted to also act as a suncreen too! I marvel in this plant for this reason: God made many plants do one thing internally and then also act counter to that externally. Hence with St. John’s Wort, taken internally to add sunshine into your life it can cause an effect of sun sensitivity… but when you add it onto the skin topically, it acts as a protector from the sun.



I also wonder when I use it…

“Lord, did you make this plant to help us get more vit D into our bodies?”


I collect mostly flowers, and some fresh leaves and top of stalks to use for making alcohol tinctures and oil. I am really serious about the flowers being fresh. You get this beautiful blue/purple oil that comes out of them when you use them just before and after the flowers open. I usually rub that oil on the top of the jar with the date to indicate what it is. Only an herbalist/harvester would know what it is by looking at it;)

sjw oil


I am a little fearful of not finding enough this year! I have such an increase in my customers having neuropathy with their cancer treatements. Hypericum oil is quite amazing for neuropathy (disease or dysfunction of one or more peripheral nerves, typically causing numbness or weakness). It is not the medicine that people are asking me for, it is simply the relief. I have used it for myself regarding this issue, as I have celiacs disease, and when gluten’d, it relieves the aching joints and numbness in my hands almost immediately. I have found that not only friends who have suffered through chemotherapy and radiation, but also those who have suffered car accidents and experienced brain damage or trauma, have neuropathy. I have also noticed that it helps wonderfully with what some doctors would call Fibromyalgia ( Fibromyalgia is a common syndrome in which a person has long-term, body-wide pain and tenderness in the joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. Fibromyalgia has also been linked to fatigue, sleep problems, headaches, depression, and anxiety. wiki). I feel that fibromyalgia is a symptom to a root systemic cause like auto-immune disease and disorders or food allergies, personally.

So coming up soon here, my son and I are going to hit the trails. My family is doing some logging right now and being that SJW likes to find the sides of graveled roads facing the sun (so do loggers), my normal plots are trodden down. I have noticed over the last decade or so that SJW plants incline and decline in availability. The seeds are hard to grow, so I heavily depend on finding them wild. Truly, I feel it has to do with the weather over the years. The unpredictable still freezing air this spring will help out, I believe. The seeds need to be frozen for 10 days before they will sprout. I think this year will be good, since we had that early cold weather, although I have asked my followers for additional prayers. If it was just me to think about, then I would not even ask. My 6 year old needs it for her allergy pains, my friends with cancer need it and I know many more people will start to understand it’s powerful medicinal relief soon too. It is quickly becoming my fave plant this year. It is not just it’s increase in demand, but how it is so delicate and how it is calls me so much. I love this plant so much!




In closing, I have to use one of my favorite books to caption this plant… 🙂



St johns wort,


Hypericum perforatum

also known as Perforate St John’s Wort

CHRONICLES: XI  An Excellent Mystery; XIV The Hermit of Eyton Forest

*’Cadfael had also brought a draught to soothe the pain, a syrup of woundwort and Saint John’s wort in wine, with a little of the poppy syrup added.’ -An Excellent Mystery

Used in an ointment for wounds, St John’s wort was also added to wine, together with a little poppy and woundwort syrup, to soothe pain.

Ruling Planet: Sun in Leo

Medicinal: St John’s wort was used for nervous exhaustion, epilepsy, depression, insomnia, bronchial catarrh, stomach complaints and madness. Externally, it was used for wounds (particularly deep sword cuts), sores, burns, bruises, inflammations, sprains, haemorrhoids and nerve pains, such as neuralgia and sciatica.

Culinary: The fresh leaves of St John’s wort were added to salads.

Miscellaneous: A native of Britain, St John’s Wort was reputed to possess healing and protective powers derived from John the Baptist: the red spots on its leaves (said to appear on 29 August, the anniversary of his death) representing the blood spilled when the saint was beheaded. When crushed, the yellow flowers also release a red juice. Alternatively, some authorities claim that the herb takes its name from the Knights of St John, who used it to treat those wounded in the Crusades. The glandular dots or ‘perforations’ around the edges of teh leaves were said to have been caused by the devil in a vain attempt to destroy the plant with a needle. As a protection against evil, the herb was known as Fuga daemonium, or the ‘devil’s flight’, because its scent was said to be so abhorrent to the devil that he was forced to keep well away. Its botanical name Hypericum is thought to be derived from teh Greek for ‘over a picture’, a freference to the flowers being placed above a religious image to ward off evil. Superstition claimed that those treading on the lant after sunset would be carried away by a fairy-horse on a wild journey that would last the entire night. The herb yields a yellow dye with alum and violet-red dye with alcohol.

(page 173, Brother Cadfael’s Herb Garden: An Illustrated Companion to Medieval Plants and their Uses, by Rob Talbot and Robin Whiteman)






A friend of mine just called me the other day and asked, “Do you have anything that can help my wife with a sprained ankle?”

“Why, yes! I have the best thing for it. Comfrey!”

I promptly met him at the place where I pick up my kids from school and he unloaded the large plant from out of my car. I sent him directions and he himself relieved his wife’s pain with God’s beautiful provided medicine. I love it!


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My field of Comfrey.


When I think of Comfrey, I think of “stitches.” Sometimes, when I mention it to people they get this hex look on their face, like I have just personally ok’d a poison. It really has been way too hyped up. Yes, it can close a deep wound before it’s proper time and cause infection… it is that powerful of a plant. But that is why you don’t use it like that!

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Picture taken on Mother’s Day 2014

Later, while doing my research on this plant, I heard that the folk medicinal name for it was “knitbone.” Makes sense.

Instead of teaching you anything about plants, I would just rather list why I love them;) Here is my list on Comfrey that I love and why I feel it is one of the best aids we have been given:

  • It helps the bones, skin, tendons, ligaments, and memory
  • It’s oil heals bruises, sprains and headaches
  • It strengthens the respitory system, digestive system and reproductive system


The high levels of alkaloids is what makes it so scary to some folks. We could talk about that, or I could just provide you with a link for those numbers. I feel no need, since I believe that Comfrey has been victim to scare tactics to it’s customers.

I agree with Susun Weed on this one… If you don’t like it, then don’t use it. The hype on all that info is truly ‘Comfrey Madness.’ (little joke there;) She also elaborates on how there are two particular varieties that cause the confusion and how it is uplandica x that we should have no fear of. I trust her and the fact that she has been using Comfrey infusions for over 10 years. She is a ray of light as far as I can see; very healthy.



In the “First Aid” department, it rocks! I think of it like stitches because of how it can bring the skin together as well with it’s astringent properties. It works this way for wrinkles too and it is the main ingredient (the root) in my wrinkle moisturizer that I make. Why not tap into it’s skin magic?! It is amazing! But it is great for just repairing the skin of scrapes or putting the oil on the skin for aches, pains, headaches or under skin injuries. We cannot forget that our skin is a living organ and it soaks in all that we put on it. Comfrey works quickly as well.


It is the Allantoins that we want from it. I just got done harvesting the tops to dry for winter infusions for myself. All the first aid or beauty products that I use it for are with it’s powerful root. I harvested not enough either. I will go back for more this week, once it has a good two days of sun on it and then get more stalks and leaves. The alatoin is much stronger when those are there. The root can be harvested whenever, I guess. It works the same for me no matter what time of year I harvest it. I will be digging up my year’s supply of roots here soon too. (



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uplandica x. and common Comfrey



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Common variety springing up from being pushed around by a cat over the winter.


I have two species. I do not have the purple, rough or prickly one and that is fine by me. As you can see, you can try to get rid of Comfrey, but it will just inevitably survive and pop up elsewhere. I found only one account, online, of anyone eradicating it; They build a hot manure pile on top. I am thankful to have the uplandica x. The flowers are kind of purply, hot pink. The other variety that I have is just the common or true species with the creamy pink flowers. I like that one more for looking at in the gardens, although it is the variety that I just gave to my friend for his sprain poultices. I asked him to please not ingest it. I thought this was a good site that properly explained the three species of Comfrey. There is lots of confusing information out there regarding this plant and just nailing down proper pictures of the individual plants was hard. (


You know, Comfrey is also great for animal feed! It is super high in protein and my chickens would eat it. They did not love it, but when bored and nothing but the hot sun drying up their grass to eat, they would peck a plant down throughout the day. Since it never ends in invading and taking over fields, you could easily leave livestock or chickens around it to keep it in check. It is a wonderful plant!





One of my mentors once told me to consider this about not just Comfrey, but every plant…

“The most powerful part is in it’s root, then the leaves are less in it’s strength and then the flower… it is the most delicate part of the plant and therefore also the most delicate amount of medicine.”

I loved that.


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Soft leaves and such beauty!



This is a plant that you should just have in a container on the patio if at all possible. I would think twice of where to put it in the yard. It gets wild and will not go away easily, but how fortunate we are to have such an abundant and beautiful tool at our disposal!