St Johns Wort
Names: Allheal; Herba John, John’s Wort, Fuga Daemonum; Goat Weed; Tipton Weed; Amber; Klamath Weed; Amber; Johannesort (Swedish); Hipericon (Spanish); Zwieroboij (Russian); Perforata, Iperico (Italian); Johanniskraut, Johannisblut, Blutkraut, Herrgottsblut, Lochkraut (German); Herba de Millepertuis, Herba de Saint Jean, Toutsaine (French); St. Jan’s Kraut, Sankt Hans Urt (Dutch); Qian Ceng Lou (Chinese); Dziurawiec Pospolity (Polish)
Properties: Astringent, analgestic, antidepressant, antispasmodic, stimulates bile, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, sedative, restorative tonic for the nervous system.
History: The plant takes its name from St. John the Baptist for it usually begins to bloom on his feast day, June 24th. It was reputed to bleed on the anniversary of the saint’s beheading. In Greek, hypericon means “over an apparition” since it was thought to protect one from evil. Later, the same attributes were transferred to Christianity, in which the herb became Herbal Sancti Ionnis. The word wort simply means herb. At one time, St. John’s Wort did flavor brandy, and bakers added a pinch to flour to improve bread’s texture. In the Victorian Language of Flowers, St. John’s Wort represents animosity.