St John’s wort (Hypericum perforated) isn’t usually associated with menstrual health, but it does give us a few amazing properties. It’s coming to the end of it’s flowering now but this morning I happened upon a massive amount of it which filled me with great joy. Its really careful to not get it confused with Rag wort (Jacobaea vulgaris) which is poisonous but also abundant around this time and they usually grow close by to each other.
It’s funny how a plant can allude you for some time and then all of a sudden you see it every where! I have been looking out for it for ages and almost given up and then there is was all over the place. It likes scrubby dry areas best to grow, as with all plants if you do collect always be respectful and don’t strip the plant completely. Also ask permission and say thank you, my husband thinks I’m nuts, I think it’s polite you can say it in your head if you like 😉
Anyway whats the low dow on this awesome little plant? Well it’s excellent on the nervous system, it can help alleviate tension anxiety and depression – in fact what it’s best known for. It can help if you suffer with SAD (seasonal affective disorder) in the winter time, improves sleep and concentration. It can also be helpful for the nerve pains for things like sciatica, shingles, backaches and headaches.
Because of it’s beautiful yellow colour it tells us it’s great for the liver, helping to protect it against toxins, all foods or herbs used that have a yellow colour will benefit the liver and gall bladder, they also tend to be quite bitter in taste just for a heads up! Thats bitterness helps to stimulate the bile flow though so it’s all good.
For women’s health it can be helpful if you have painful heavy periods as it will help to staunch the flow and also because of it’s mood boosting qualities can help the emotional symptoms of PMS and during the peri/menopause time.
I have been making an oil with mine, as it’s a great pain reliever but also aids healing. Was one of the herbs I had in my blend I smothered over my belly after my laparoscopy. It’s helps keep an inflammation at bay and is really soothing.
Funnily enough one of the precautions of taking St John’s wort is that is can make you more sensitive to the sun, however the oil is excellent for sunburn! Not that I advocate sunburn, but we all can catch it sometimes.
One of the biggest cautions with taking this is if you are on the contraceptive pill as it can interfere with the effectiveness. Please always consult with a qualified herbalist.