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St Johns Wort for Natural Skincare

St Johns Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is another common plant that has been used for its health benefits for centuries.  It is believed to have originated in Turkey, but has spread virtually world wide, and is particularly well-known in England.

It has great healing powers and was used to heal sword wounds.

Extracts from this plant, particularly its oil, are now also widely used in modern, commercial medicines.

If you hold a leaf up to the light, small clear dots are visible over the surface.  These are the glands which are full of the essential oil known as hypericum oil.  The oil is also found in the flowers and stems.

St Johns Wort is also known for its ability to help with lifting the mood and depression.  There are cautions that go with its use, and as with many treatments it is advisable to understand potential side effects.

St John's Wort in flower.
Photo Credit: iStockPhoto

Benefits of St Johns Wort

In recent years the benefits of St Johns Wort in the treatment of mild depression have become known world wide.

It has also been used in the treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and aspects of menopause.

St John's Wort has also been used in research for the treatment of AIDS.

But from ancient times it has been most widely used for healing of wounds such as bed sores and sword wounds!, and burns, as well as strains and sprains.

It can also help with the burning and itching of Haemorrhoids (see the Recipe below). If you have ever suffered from this terrible affliction - common after pregnancy and childbirth - you may have noticed that a commonly prescribed medicine is Hypericum Cream. So named after the Hypericum oil of the St John's Wort plant.

In countries where natural remedies are allowed to be prescribed by Medical Practioners, it can also be used to treat the following problems, either naturally or as part of a manufactured medicine:

  • Anxiety and panic
  • Chronic pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Insomnia
  • Overweight
  • PreMenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
  • Stress

    Side Effects of St Johns Wort

    Even natural products and treatments need to be used with caution.

    The side effects of St John's Wort will be different for each person, and will depend on many factors such as frequency of use, pre-existing medical conditions and personal sensitivity to the plant, to name a few.

    Excessively high usage of St John's Wort has been linked to cataracts, nerve hypersensitivity and photo sensitivity of the skin.

    It is particularly important to seek further medical advice if you are taking prescription medicines.



    This is a wonderful healing salve that is completely natural. It is said to be good for bed sores so offers great healing for other skin sores, cuts, shingles and skin damage.


  • Flowers and leaves from the St John's Wort plant - either fresh or dried
  • Cold pressed Olive Oil
  • Wide mouthed jar with a well fitting, air tight lid.


  • Pack the flowers and leaves into the jar quite tightly. Leave at least 2 cm from the top so that the oil can completely cover them.
  • Add enough Olive Oil to cover them and keep out the air.
  • Store for 4-5 weeks with an airtight lid on.
  • Store in the sunlight. The oil will turn red.
  • Strain before use.


    Combining St John's Wort infused oil (from the above recipe) with other essential oils adds to its healing properties and versatility.


  • 50 ml St John's Wort Infused Oil
  • 5 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil
  • 5 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  • 5 drops of Juniper Oil
  • 5 drops of Lavender Essential Oil


  • Add each of the above Oils together.
  • Use for the treatment and relief of muscular strains and sprains.


    Juniper has good healing properties for Haemorrhoids but should not be used in pregnancy or undiluted. Combining St John's Wort infused oil (from the above recipe) with Juniper will give you greater healing power for your problem area!


  • 50 ml St John's Wort Infused Oil
  • 10 drops of Juniper Oil (avoid in pregnancy)


  • Add each of the above Oils together.
  • Can be used directly on the area affected, or added to a bath for a relaxing solution.


    If you are a gardener you can plant your own seeds. This is the most environmentally friendly option but it will depend on your climate, skills and garden space.

    If you don't grow the fresh plant, you can buy good quality dried product that is just as effective and useful. It is also easy to handle and ready to use all year round.

    You can also buy the oil, and as always, if you can get organic then so much the better. If this is outside your budget then that is still ok as the oil will still have wonderful healing properties.

    Go from St Johns Wort to learn about Elder Flower Uses

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