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St. John's Wort - Uses and Benefits

by Saiyo

St. John's Wort, an herb often associated with folklore, has been believed to offer protection against the Fae. According to legends, placing St. John's Wort around windows and doorways prevents the fae from entering a home, and wearing it as an amulet can ward off their tricks. This belief stems from the bright yellow flowers of the plant, which are associated with sunlight and purification. However, it's important to note that the effectiveness of these practices is subject to debate. Regardless, St. John's Wort offers various benefits beyond its reputed ability to repel or appease the Fair Folk.

Apart from its folkloric uses, St. John's Wort possesses medicinal properties that can be valuable. It's crucial to consult a healthcare professional before using St. John's Wort, as it can interact with certain medications and may not be suitable for everyone. Prolonged use is not recommended, and caution should be exercised if you are on birth control or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

St. John's Wort is commonly used as an antidepressant, as it helps increase blood supply to brain tissue, leading to a natural boost in serotonin levels—the "happy chemical" in our brains. It may also assist in mood stabilization. However, it's essential to consult a healthcare professional, especially if you're already taking other antidepressants. St. John's Wort can also help alleviate anxiety when used as a tincture, as the herb's potency decreases when dried for use in teas.

Additionally, St. John's Wort can be utilized topically as an infusion (not an essential oil) to promote wound healing. Applying a small amount to bruises or cuts can help expedite the healing process, while its anti-inflammatory properties can assist in relieving pain by calming nerve tension. St. John's Wort may also have antiviral properties against certain strains, such as influenza A and parainfluenza viruses, and it may aid in combating the herpes virus when applied as an infusion to cold sores.

It's important to note that St. John's Wort is highly toxic to animals, so it should be kept away from pets. If you have livestock, regularly inspect your fields and promptly remove any St. John's Wort as it tends to proliferate rapidly. Furthermore, St. John's Wort can cause several side effects, making it crucial to seek professional medical advice before use. Possible side effects include gastrointestinal irritation, allergic reactions, restlessness, dry mouth, fatigue, and increased skin sensitivity to the sun. It can also interfere with the efficacy of certain medications.

In conclusion, St. John's Wort can be a valuable addition to your herbal collection when used correctly. While it carries connections to the magical world, it also offers numerous medicinal properties. When used appropriately, it can be genuinely beneficial, but using it improperly can lead to adverse consequences. It's always advisable to seek guidance from healthcare professionals to ensure safe and effective usage.


Saiyo (They/Them) is a Dedicant of The Ever Green Hearth and a Sophomore at Woolston-Steen Theological Seminary. They have a passion for Herbs and Plants, and have created their own small business: The Brew - making bath and body products for self care. You can follow their business on Social Media and order these amazing natural home-made products from their Etsy Shop!


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