Hypericum perforatum – St. John’s Wort

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St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a non-native medicinal plant that usually flowers near the summer solstice. It can be found in sunny areas with dry, gravelly soil.
St. John’s wort has five-petalled flowers with many stamens and narrow leaves which have tiny transparent dots.
The flowers produce a red/purple substance when crushed called hypericin, which is responsible for some of the medicinal properties.
St. John’s wort is known to be a nervine (calms nerves) and sedative. It also has antidepressant and pain-relieving properties, particularly for nerve pain. Significant precaution should be taken if combining St. John’s wort with certain medications or if you have certain diagnoses. It must be used fresh in a tea, salve, or infused oil to reap the benefits. Drying the plant will remove the medicinal compounds.

Written by Amy Demers, founder of the Connecticut Foraging Club. To learn more about foraging in Connecticut, check out our upcoming classes.

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