St. John’s Wort Oil
The shelf life when in olive oil, which has a long shelf life itself, if airtight and kept in a cupboard out of light is years. I’m still using a bottle of it that I made 2 years ago.
The recipe is not exact measurements, but proportions of. Ingredients are chopped if fresh, crumbled if dry.
* 2/3’s St Johns Wort flowers & leaves of top 4″
* 1/3 Feverfew flowers & leaves
* 2 small Mullein leaves
* 2 big pinches of dry Chamomile flowers.
Cover herbs until submerged with olive oil, gently heat without allowing it to simmer. If necessary, turn flame off and let oil cool a bit, turn heat on.
Again…repeat this to keep the oil warm for an hour. Let oil cool, strain out herbs, add 10 drops of Lavender EO to each 1 cup of oil. Store in and air tight bottle or jar, and keep out of light (oil will be a red brown from the herb combination).
CA zone 8a
Melana, you are so lucky to have tons of St. John’s… I suggest infusing some in olive oil and tincturing what’s left. The infused oil can be used for: massage for sciatic pain or any nerve pain in a large body area (pinched nerve in the back); incorporating into a combination salve with plantain and/or marigold for skin ailments from chapped skin to eczema; mixing a little with your mullein or chamomile oil for earache. The tincture is effective for depression, but even if you don’t suffer from that, it’s good to have because it’s effective for nerve pain (fingertip caught in a drawer, stubbed toe, sciatica – I use St. John’s orally and topically for that). Need instructions for making the preparations? I can post them to the list, if you want. However, most of the modern herbals carry detailed instructions: David Hoffman, Rosemary Gladstar, Susan Weed, Penelope Ody are the first author’s names that come to mind.
For herbal education and lots of fun, search for Henriette Kress’s Herbal Homepage, the best on the Net.
St. John’s Wort Tincture
To Make St. John’s Wort Tincture
You will need:
* 8 oz. 100 proof Vodka
* Pint Jar with lid.
* 2-3 oz. Dried St. John’s Wort Tops or Whole Herb fresh or dried (enough to fill jar)
Stuff jar with dried herb, cover with vodka. When using fresh plants as opposed to died, it is probably best to use a higher proof alcohol. Put the lid on tight and give it a good shaking. Shake jar every day for two weeks. Strain liquid.
Using a press is a very effective method to get the most tincture out of your herbs, and with the price of alcohol, pays for itself in only a few batches!
Store in bottles and use same dropperful doses as you would tincture from the Health Food Store. This method works for a variety of wild herbs, and is the best way to preserve the potency of the herbs. You can get dropper bottles from your local pharmacist.
Recommended dosage of tincture is two droppers full 3 times a day. When to take it depends on the person, some may find it better to take with meals to avoid upset stomach.
To test the strength of hypericin in a capsule against my home made tincture, I put 1 tbs. vodka in one small glass bottle, to another I put in 1 tbs. of my tincture. I opened two store bought capsules of St. John’s Wort and poured them into the plain vodka, covered it and shook it for a few seconds. The first thing I noticed was the capsules contained a lot of residue of some kind, as that mixture was a cloudy, brownish red compared to the ruby red of my home made mixture. So I remain convinced that the home made product is superior, also I like knowing that I chose these herbs myself as ones I would take for myself as well as give to friends and family.