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Harvesting and Healing with Hypericum

 

Hypericum is a Solar Herb which has restorative and relaxing gifts on offer. A herb that literally invites the rays of the sun in. It is known as  a thymoleptic herb. The term thymoleptic is an old term which means the herb has the ability to raise the mood and counteract depression. It is a wonderful herb that when imbibed over time, can result in an improved sense of well-being. 

A little on the name St. John’s Wort

Healing with HypericumWho was St. John anyway?  St John was a Jewish prophet known as St. John the Baptist.  He would carry out ritual baptism for those who repented in time for God’s final judgement!   A dramatic preaching that God’s final judgement was near, but there you go, it seemed to get people ready to get baptised.  He has been potentially linked as a relative of Jesus and the KnIghts of St. John was said to revere St. John even over Jesus.  

The historians consider that the name of the St. John’s wort was given to it by the first Christians, who noticed that the plant blossoms on about the 24th of June, the Saint John’s-the Baptist’s birthday, who was decapitated.  Not only that, the knights of St. John were protectors and carers of pilgrims.  Think of the modern day St. John’s Ambulance which stems from the first hospital set up by the nights in Jerusalem. And the herb is a renowned wound healer, a symbol of this work. 

The red pigment in the crushed flower is taken to signify the blood of St John the Baptist at his beheading. The herb is in full flower on his birthday, 24th June, St John’s Day.  A powerful sun-herb to dispel darkness; the holes in the leaves emblematic of St Johns holy wounds and martyrdom; the cross formed by the leaves when seen from above; and, the red of the extract representative of his blood.

Folklore and Story

Famed for these mood lifting properties, Hypericum was said to ward off evil spirits.  At a time when melancholia was considered a potential inhabitation of spirits, this tallies well with Hypericum’s current associations with lifting a depressive state.  However, this wonderful bright herb is so much more than just a mood enhancer.  A wonderful nervine to support nervous energy.  A wound healer and a magical herb that appears to have yellow flowers, that turn red when picked and squeezed between the fingers, an anti-viral, liver herb, the list goes on.

The name Hypericum, comes from the Greek huper eikon, meaning over an apparition” because of its power to protect against evil spirits. St. Johns Wort functions to help to strengthen the inner Sun, to bring the light back into someones life. It feeds that inner light, fans and brightens the flame of consciousness, and where that light shines the darkness dissipates. Rather than focusing on whats wrong, whats not working, and what is holding one back, this remedy teaches our minds to find the positive in every situation, to take our challenges and struggles and transform them into our teachings, our strength, and our power. In this way it is above the apparition” (the meaning of the Greek word hypericon), and helps us to face our inner demons and conquer them.

When crushed, the leaves release a balsamic (oily, volatile oils, soothing, calming, curative) odour similar to incense, said to be strong enough to drive evil spirits away, it is so detested by evil spirits that they fly off at a whiff of its odour. Beautiful and filled with solar-energy and therefore relevant to any benevolent (kind, caring, compassionate) spirits; an illuminated spirit with the power to chase away evil and darkness. In the language of flowers, Hypericum means superstition. Whoever treads on St Johns Wort after sunset will be swept up on a magical horse and galloped around the heavens until sunrise, when the exhausted rider will be returned to the ground.

Healing with HypericumHypericum Botany  

The branched upright stems enable maximum light to reach the leaves.  Leaves are in pairs opposite each other, are narrow and full of small holes in every leaf, which cannot be seen easily until you hold them up to the light. What appear to be tiny holes in the leaves, are actually glands but are the tell tail sign of this species. It’s in the name Hypericum perforatum, perforated with holes.  The perforations (perforatum) are actually translucent oil glands. The stem has 2 longitudinal ridges, where all related species have 4 ridges. At the top of the stalks stand yellow flowers of five-petals, with many yellow fronds reaching out from the middle.  The root abides in the ground many years, shooting anew every spring. Scented yellow flowers have  black dots in the summer.

Harvesting Hypericum 

Hypericum flowers in midsummer, yellow flowers with 5 petals burst out of ruddy coloured shiny buds.

You want to collect the flowers on a hot day, in the mid-day sun and dry rapidly. To be fully effective it should be collected at noon, on a bright day, near the full moon, those are the basic principles we Seed Sitas harvest by for most arial parts of a herb.

Flowering always around the summer solstice, St. John’s Wort is a plant that corresponds quite strongly to the archetypal force of that hot beaming sphere high in the sky. 

The flowers will open at different rates, you want maximum flower coverage without too many oft the flowers tipping over into being pollinated.  Ideally we like to harvest the flowers as they come out and make a collection of them.  You can also snip off the flowering tops containing several flowers and dry them like that on absorbent paper, depending on what you want to do with them.

Medicine and Healing with Hypericum 

Internally:Healing with Hypericum

Hypericum can be worked with for anxiety; stress; depression, apathy; sleep disturbances; general feelings of unworthiness.  These are some of the most commonly researched and known properties of Hypericum. The red oil in the flowers can be considered the suns life blood, the blood of the sun, the bringer of joy. Hypericum allows the power of light to penetrate it completely, which it can then pass onto us to help us open ourselves to lightness when our spirits are heavy, and everything seems dark. The plant is harvesting sunlight and transmuting it into liquid gold. distilled gold, beads of bright vision, lighting our way, through confusion and doubt”, most valued as a medicine in the darkness of winter. 

St John Wort has affinity for the solar-plexus (digestive and nervous systems). The solar-plexus is: the centre of protective energies; ruled by the yellow part of the spectrum; controlled by the sun; governor of gut instincts and lifes unseen influences. It is a beacon of midsummer fire, holding the potential to make visible our emerging vision, kindling our inner fire to light that fragile but crucial next footstep ahead of us. With light and clarity, Hypericum rekindles our inner light and shining will, a will guided by the truth of our heart.  The restorer of inner light, lost vision and inspirer of dreams; cutting through the layers of mental fog that distract us from our purpose, allowing our dreams and visions to guide our path through life.

Hypericum heals inward for hurts or bruises, clears and supports blood. The sedative and pain reducing effects are useful in treatment of neuralgia; anxiety; tension; rheumatic pain; sciatica.

External:

For Neuralgia; sciatica; varicose veins; ulcers; sunburn. Valuable healing and anti-inflammatory agent. Speeds healing of wounds; bruises; burns; varicose veins. Speeds the healing of surgical scars. Backache; sore muscles; neuropathy; neuralgia; shingles; arthritis; surgical scars; bruises.

Place under the pillow in a pouch for: nightmares; bad dreams; fear of the dark.

Skincare: oil soothes and heals inflamed, dry or cracked skin by activating the skins metabolism.

Don’t stop reading yet…!

If you want to know the more about Hypericum, why not join our Coven? You’ll soon have access to our best resources while increasing your confidence and knowledge about the magic of herbs and master the art of herbal remedy creation, spells and rites, plus step by step guides to getting to know your plants better.

We have an extensive Plant Lab Guide on Hypericum which will cover the topics above more in-depth, plus:

  • Plant Profile Video
  • Hypericum Preparations and Recipes
  • Hypericum Research and Clinical Trials

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