ST.JOHN’S WORT – Hypericum perforatum
It is linked with the Sun and Leo, Midsummer’s Day, or St. John’s Day.
Harvesting & Storage
It is traditionally harvested on St. John’s Day (June 24th) or Midsummer’s day, early in the day after the dew has dried. Harvest soon after flowering.
Otherwise, harvest flowers and leaves as needed.
St. John’s Wort has been used in medicine for over 2.400 years. It was used in ancient Greece and prescribed by Hippocrates and others for insanity, among other problems. It was also used in the Crusades to treat battle wounds.
It is associated with St. John the Baptist. It was gathered on St. John’s Day and soaked in olive oil to create an anointing oil called the “Blood of Christ”. It is said that the red sap “bleeds” in August on the day when St. John was beheaded.
The ancient name Fuga Daemonum (Scare Devil) and the Latin name Hypericum (“over” + “apparition”) attests to its usefulness in driving away evil spirits. The latter may also refer to the fact that it was hung over religious icons. It was hung in the home, and carried as a talisman. It was also used to protect from lightening strikes.
St. John’s Wort was also used for divination of romance and longevity. St. John’s Wort was hung over the beds of the members of a household to divine their longevity. The sprig that was most wilted the next morning indicated who would die the soonest. Keeping a sprig under your pillow is said to grant you a vision of St. John who will promise that you will live another year.