Make your own St John’s Wort Oil and heal your skin. More than an anti-depressant, Hypericum perforatum oil is liquid sunshine

trio of St Johns Wort photos whole plant, one flower and flowers in a jar

When the blossoming of  St John's wort and the solstice collide, my heart jumps for joy; summer is truly here.

St John's wort is a member of the hypericum family with small bright yellow flowers that grow in bunches. It's Latin name Hypericum perforatum refers to one of its main identifiable features: If you hold one of its tiny leaves up to the light you will see tiny perforations in the leaves that let the light through.

When you can picture these rays of light streaming through the leaves, you get a glimpse of hypericum’s metaphorical spirit. This is a plant that brings the light just like it's luminescent yellow coloured flowers do when they reflect the summer sun.

The spirit and energy of this plant brings strength, elevation, clarity, warmth and relaxation; like the feeling of summer sun soaking into your body.

Indeed, the name St John’s Wort refers to St John’s day which is celebrated on June 24th, and is a classic overlaying of a christian holiday on top of the existing pagan summer solstice celebrations and traditions.

St John's wort brings the energy of clarity and illumination partly because it has a strong effect on the liver, helping your body's metabolism to cleanse and clear what is not needed or is toxic. This is why it is a herb to use with great caution if you are taking medication. This effect on your metabolism can also alter the speed and efficiency with which your body metabolizes your medication, which would change its volume in your bloodstream and potentially disrupt existing treatment. If you are on medication, your local medical herbalist would be able to guide you in how to use this herb safely.

St John's wort is an antiviral herb, specifically useful in treating the herpes virus. It's also an amazing herb for healing the skin. Both as a cooling and inflammatory skin tonic in the case of burns or sunburn, irritation cuts and grazes. But also specifically nerve healing in the case of any wounds or bruising that has incurred nerve damage.

St John's wort is famous for supporting people with depression. A big claim since depression is such a broad church.  I have had clients with depression, low mood and SAD find this herb really useful. The dual action of being a mood lifter with it's strong liver action seems to energize and clear the anxiety and brain fog ( which can be associated with depression) for some people. See the caution above though for anyone on any anti-depressants or other medications.

One of the loveliest medicines to make with St John's wort is a flower infused oil. The oil can be infused using the heat of the summer sun, which fills the flowers potential to bring warmth and relaxation into your body:

St. John's Wort Sun-Infused Sunflower Oil

This recipe creates a soothing oil for topical application on burns, sunburns, and irritated or broken skin.

Important Note: St. John's Wort can cause photosensitivity, so avoid using this oil before sun exposure.

Fresh St. John's Wort flowers (Hypericum perforatum) - 30g (1 oz). You can also used dried, but see separate direction below.
Cold-pressed sunflower oil - 240ml (8 fl oz)
Glass jar with a tight-fitting lid

- Ideally, harvest fresh St. John's Wort flowers around the summer solstice on a sunny day. (If using dried flowers, lightly crush the dried flowers between your fingers or with a mortar and pestle.)

- Place the St. John's Wort flowers in the clean glass jar.
- Pour the sunflower oil over the flowers, ensuring all plant material is submerged. If needed, add more oil to fully cover the flowers.
- Place the jar in a sunny location for at least 4 weeks, ideally 6-8 weeks.

- Shake the jar gently every few days to redistribute the plant material. The oil should turn a deep red colour as it infuses.
- Strain through muslin over a clean jar.

- Compost the used plant material.
- Store the finished St. John's Wort sun-infused sunflower oil in a cool, dark place in a sterilised dark glass bottle or container.

- Label your bottle with the date you made it and where your harvested your flowers. Shelf life is approximately 1 year.

How to Use St John’s Wort oil:

Apply a small amount of the oil directly to affected areas of the skin.
Massage gently for absorption.

You can use your oil as the base of a balm by adding shea or cocoa butter and beeswax.

Safety Precautions:
St. John's Wort can increase sun sensitivity. Do not use this oil before sun exposure.
St. John's Wort can interact with certain medications. Consult with a healthcare professional before using this oil if you are taking any medications.
Avoid using St. John's Wort if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional before using herbal remedies.

St Johns Wort flowers in the sunshine