Hypericum perforatum 

Common Names: St. John's Wort, Klamath Weed, Goat Weed, Amber 
Family: Clusiaceae 
Part/s Used: Flowering tops + Leaves 
Energetics: Cooling
Taste: bitter, sweet aftertaste
Actions: Nervine, trophorestorative, hepatic, astringent, anti inflammatory, anti bacterial, anti viral, vulnerary, sedative
Organ System Affinity: Nervous System
Constituents: Hypericin, volatile oil, tannins, resin, pectin, alkaloids
Planet: Sun
Element: Air

Medicinal Preparations:

Tincture (ratio & % alcohol): Fresh: 1:2 or 1:3                   
Drops: 10-90   Times a day: 4x

Glycerite:  Fresh: 1:4    Glycerin: 50%    Alcohol: 50%
Drops: 10-60    Times a day: 4x

Oil: Fresh: 1:2  Drops: 30-90   Times a day: 3x
Capsules: "00"  1:2  Times a day: 1-3x

Tea: Hot infusion (steeped 10-15 min) 
Ounces: 8-12  Times a day: 3-4x

Habitat and Botanical Description:

Hypericum, a subtly enchanting herbaceous perennial, flourishes across the Pacific West. This plant is often found in grasslands, pastures, and forest clearings, especially in areas altered by fire, logging, or road construction. It propagates through seeds and rhizomes, thriving particularly in regions that receive winter rains. The plant is adorned with bright golden yellow flowers, each featuring five petals, and these bloom on green stalks that grow about 1-3 feet tall.

Medicinal Uses:

St. John's wort, with a touch of nature's magic, is a gentle nervine known for calming nervous exhaustion. Ideal for those struggling with chronic insomnia, it's best taken during the day for tranquility and in higher doses at night as a sedative. For children grappling with ADD and not yet on medication, this herb serves as a gentle aid. It can be blended with other calming herbs like lemon balm, wild oats, and gotu kola, offering a natural step before considering medication.

As a natural antidepressant, St. John's wort is a restorative for the nervous system. It's beneficial for lifting moods in cases of mild to moderate depression, PMS symptoms (taken a couple of weeks before the cycle), and seasonal affective disorder. It's especially helpful for those feeling stuck and frustrated, but patience is key; its effects unfold over time with consistent use.

Hypericum is effective in reducing inflammation in muscles, joints, and mucus membranes. It also alleviates nerve pain associated with conditions like herpes, tendonitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome. It's useful for treating sciatica, back spasms, stress headaches, and neck pain, particularly when its oil is massaged into the affected area, possibly combined with arnica and poplar bud oils for enhanced pain relief.

Its antiviral properties make Hypericum valuable for treating conditions like herpes, hepatitis C, and HIV, both internally and topically. It can be used as a tonic for frequent herpes outbreaks, with higher doses at the onset of symptoms. In case of an outbreak, applying it topically can help control pain. Its dual effect of calming nerves and acting as an antiviral can reduce outbreak frequency and duration, especially when stress triggers them.

Externally, St. John's wort is a valuable addition to any home apothecary. It improves capillary health and reduces scarring, benefiting slow-healing nerve tissues. It's effective for treating bruises, abrasions, broken bones, cysts, and surgical wounds, using high-quality oil or as a tea. If diluted, it can be used as a liniment for sensitive wounds. Additionally, it's useful for treating hemorrhoids and varicose veins.


Begin by gathering the flowering tops of St. John's wort, about six inches, adorned with leaves. With reverence, strip the leaves and flowers for your tincture. Enchant a quart jar by stuffing it full, brimming with the plant's essence. Pour over it grape or grain alcohol, crafting a 1:2 fresh flower tincture, a potion of healing.

Should you seek to conjure oil, let the leaves and flowers first wilt, a dance that beckons forth more hypericin and aromatic whispers. Employ the simplers method: fill a jar to the top with the flowering tops, then remove and grind them as if weaving a spell. Return this herbal essence to the jar, now to be cloaked in the embrace of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Seal it with a cap and lay it to rest under the solar gaze, in a warm, sunny window for a fortnight or two. A pickling pebble or coffee filter shall ensure the flower remains submerged, a guardian against the air. As the sun's warmth kisses the jar, it coaxes out the red pigment, a reservoir of medicinal might.

Once strained, behold the transformation: a rich, dark red oil, an elixir of health. Let it rest overnight, allowing any water-soluble essences to settle, then gently decant the oil. Beware, for water's presence invites mold's curse. Crafted with care, both oil and tincture will stand the test of time, potent for years. This sacred oil, a gift of St. John's wort, serves both internally and externally, a testament to nature's healing grace. Remember, the dried herb lacks the power for such alchemy, suitable neither for medicine nor oil in the wise woman's craft.

Recommended Products:


Reports of photosynthesizing effects on individuals who use St. john's wort internally in high doses. Use the normal therapeutic dose. Taking St. John's internally may decrease the effects of oral contraceptives.



  • Sinadinos, Christa (2014) Northwest School for Botanical Studies. Lecture Notes.
  • Sinadinos, C. (2020). The Essential Guide to Western Botanical Medicine. 


Disclosure: This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.