Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Shrubby St. John's Wort

Another of my favorite plants is the Shrubby St. John's Wort. This is another shrub I got at a native plant sale.

I have long been interested in herbal medications and remedies; I'm trying to learn all I can. St. John's Wort is an herb I take for chronic depression and it really seems to help.

So when I found the Shrubby St. John's Wort plant, I knew I had to try growing it. For the past 3 years, it has given me a vast abundance of flowers. The flowers are such a beautiful yellow color and it is at peak performance right now. I want to learn how to distill the flower to make a St. John's Wort liquid.

If anyone out there has every distilled St. John's Wort, I would love to hear from you! :)


Leigh said...

That's a beauty. For a quick and simple extract, I just put the flowers in a glass jar with a very tight sealing lid, and cover with vodka. Setting the jar in a sunny spot is helpful. If you wanted to get a really pure extract, pack a clear glass jar (again a very tight sealing lid) with flowers (smashing them in is helpful), seal, and place in a sunny spot (we have a flat black rock on the south side of the house for this purpose). Leave them to extract in the sun a few weeks, then press the contents. You will only get a tiny amount of liquid from this, but it will be very pure...

Patrick said...

Here St. John's Wort has recently been discussed as a major pasture weed problem. It poisons the animals which eat it, and the plant itself is very difficult to control.

It's funny to see you say it came from a native plant sale, because it came from Europe originally but has spread as a weed all over the US now.

Herbal remedies are very much a part of the culture here, and there are a number of Dutch and German language websites and blogs that discuss them.