St John's Wort
The Magical Powers and Healing Properties of St John's Wort
(Latin: Hypericum perforatum)
St John's Wort is also known as Common St John's Wort, Klamath Weed, Tipton's Weed
Photograph of St John's Wort
St John's Wort - Properties of Magick and Healing
This plant and several others was in the courtyard of the old Community Hospital in Santa Rosa, CA. Some of the following notes were taken from placards identifying the plants and their uses. Other information has been added for this article. A disclaimer was also posted that many of the plants could be toxic when used incorrectly, and requesting that no one 'sample' the exhibits.
A native geographical distribution including temperate and subtropical regions of North America, Europe, Asia Minor, Russia, India, and China.
Used primarily as a tea to treat depression, it was once thought to "cast out demons". It is anti-viral and anti-bacterial, and said to be good for treating lungs, urinary tract infections and burns.
The harvesting time for St John's Wort has always been midsummer, as the herb's potency is deemed to be at its peak.
Christianity absorbed many Pagan traditions, including the reverence of St John's Wort. The herb was dedicated to St John and the church used it in a fashion similar to Pagan usage during the St John celebrations on the 24th of June. It became a Holy Herb.
Magickal Uses of St John's Wort
The flowering time of St John's Wort usually coincides with Midsummers Day, so it has long been revered as a Summer Solstice herb.
The flowers resemble the sun and the plant's oil resembles blood.
A herb of protection, used against droughts and excessive sun, as well as fire and lightning.
Used to and scare, expel or exorcise demons and evil spirits. It is thought that such beings cannot abide the odour of the herb when used in this fashion.
It is said to frighten away witches.
Charms containing the holy herb were said to protect against wounds from swords, knives and even bullets.
Used in spellcraft to aid depression and for bodily healing spells. The sun of the flowers and the blood red of the oil.
Medicinal and Healing Uses of St John's Wort
Recorded use of St John's Wort for herbal remedy and medicinal purposes goes back to ancient Greece.
Native Americans used it internally as an abortifacient and used it externally as an anti-inflammatory, astringent, and antiseptic.
St John's Wort is most widely known as an herbal treatment for depression and is commonly prescribed for mild depression, especially in children and adolescents.
However, in trials, St John's Wort was not found effective for patients suffering from dysthymia, a less severe and more chronic variety of depression.
It appears that it may have fewer side effects than standard antidepressants.
St John's Wort may be useful for treatment of alcoholism, although dosage, safety and efficacy have not been studied.
Compounds of the plant may be effective against some bacterial infection but safety and efficacy has not been studied.
It is thought that it could have an effect on ADHD symptoms, again, the safety and efficacy has not been fully studied.
There are avenues of study looking at its effect on the neuronal degeneration of Parkinson's disease.
Other Uses of St John's Wort
It has a long historical use as a herbal tea.
Flowers and stems have also been used in the production of red and yellow dyes.
Care When Using St John's Wort as A Herbal Remedy
St John's Wort is generally well tolerated, with the most common adverse effects reported being gastrointestinal symptoms, dizziness, confusion, tiredness and sedation.
St John's Wort may rarely cause photosensitivity; Visual sensitivity to light and to sunburns in situations that would not normally cause them.
St John's Wort has been shown to cause some multiple drug interactions, resulting in the increased metabolism of those drugs.
St John's Wort may also contribute to Serotonin Syndrome, a potentially life-threatening adverse drug reaction, if used in combination with some types of Serotonin affecting drugs.
If medical conditions exist or other medications are being taken, always seek medical advice prior to using any herbal remedy.
When using any herb for medical purposes, especially when ingested, care should be taken or advice sought if uncertain as to dosage and usage.
Always consult your doctor before giving any herbal preparation to an infant or child.
In large doses, St John's Wort is poisonous to most grazing livestock and this Australian item may be of value to those with livestock -
Behavioural signs of poisoning are general restlessness and skin irritation. Restlessness is often indicated by pawing of the ground, head shaking, head rubbing, and occasional hindlimb weakness with knuckling over, panting, confusion and depression. Mania and hyperactivity may also result including running in circles until exhausted. Observations of thick wort infestations by Australian graziers include the appearance of circular patches giving hillsides a 'crop circle' appearance, possibly from this phenomenon. Animals typically seek shade and have reduced appetite. Hypersensitivity to water has been noted, and convulsions may occur following a knock to the head. Although general aversion to water is noted, some may seek water for relief.
Severe skin irritation is physically apparent, with reddening of non-pigmented and unprotected areas. This subsequently leads to itch and rubbing, followed by further inflammation, exudation and scab formation. Lesions and inflammation that occur are said to resemble the conditions seen in foot and mouth disease. Sheep have been observed to have face swelling, dermatitis, and wool falling off due to rubbing. Lactating animals may cease or have reduced milk production; pregnant animals may abort. Lesions on udders are often apparent. Horses may show signs of anorexia, depression (with a comatose state), dilated pupils, and injected conjunctiva.
Increased respiration and heart rate is typically observed while one of the early signs of St John's Wort poisoning is an abnormal increase in body temperature. Affected animals will lose weight, or fail to gain weight; young animals are more affected than old animals. In severe cases death may occur, as a direct result of starvation, or because of secondary disease or septicaemia of lesions. Some affected animals may accidentally drown. Poor performance of suckling lambs (pigmented and non-pigmented) has been noted, suggesting a reduction in the milk production, or the transmission of a toxin in the milk.
Most clinical signs are caused by photosensitisation. Plants may induce either primary or secondary photosensitisation; primary photosensitisation directly from chemicals contained in ingested plants, or secondary photosensitisation from plant-associated damage to the liver. Araya and Ford (1981) explored changes in liver function and concluded there was no evidence of Hypericum-related effect on the excretory capacity of the liver, or any interference was minimal and temporary. However, at high and continuous dose rates changes in blood plasma indicative of some liver damage have been observed.
Photosensitisation causes skin inflammation by a mechanism involving a pigment or photodynamic compound, which when activated by a certain wavelength of light leads to oxidation reactions in vivo. This leads to lesions of tissue, particularly noticeable on and around parts of skin exposed to light. Lightly covered or poorly pigmented areas are most conspicuous. Removal of affected animals from sunlight results in reduced symptoms of poisoning.
Reference started by - MamaMacabre
Perception9 Paranormal Team
With acknowledgement and thanks to wikipedia.org for graphics and various source materials.
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