St. John’s Wort is a well studied natural alternative to anti-depressants in the U.S. but it’s history and uses go well beyond depression as you can see. It’s exciting to learn about it’s well documented properties proving St. John’s Wort essential oil to be of great value medicinally as new findings continue to be revealed.
“St. John’s wort (SJW), known botanically as Hypericum perforatum, is a sprawling, leafy herb that grows in open, disturbed areas throughout much of the world’s temperate regions. The use of this species as an herbal remedy to treat a variety of internal and external ailments dates back to the time of the ancient Greeks. Since then, it has remained a popular treatment for anxiety, depression, cuts, and burns. Recent research suggests the effectiveness of this herb in treating other ailments, including cancer, inflammation-related disorders, and bacterial and viral diseases, and as an antioxidant and neuroprotective agent. Pharmaceutical companies, particularly in Europe, prepare standard formulations of this herb that are taken by millions of people.”
In the herbal/massage world there’s a well loved basic formula for a carrier oil blend called, Trauma Oil. The basic blend usually consists of St. John’s Wort, Arnica and Calendula flowers infused in olive oil with occasional variations. Trauma carrier oil is often used all by itself because it’s so healing, calming and analgesic. If you wanted to step things up a notch Helichrysum and Lavender are especially compatible with Trauma Oil.
I’m taking the traditional another step further by supporting therapeutic St. John’s Wort essential oil in my pure salve base of organic, unrefined coconut oil (gmo-tested), organic olive oil (real olive oil, make sure yours it too), beeswax, rosehip seed oil and non-gmo, Kosher certified vitamin e for added anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial protective properties.
How can St. John’s Wort Salve be used?
- Headache: Add a small amount of salve to both forefinger tips, massage on temples and forehead for tension/stress headaches. I like to apply to the back of my neck and shoulders too.
- Sleep: Apply 1/4 teaspoon (half on each sole) massage in before bedtime. Use sparingly for children.
- Nerve related pain ie: sciatica & rheumatoid arthritis: Apply 1/4 teaspoon to area of discomfort as needed. Add a layer of CW Nerve Pain and Block Salve for acute discomfort. On a sidenote: my friend and neighbor has been able to wean herself off OTC pain relief for rheumatoid arthritis in her hand by layering, St. John’s Wort, CW Nerve Pain and Block and Frankincense directly to painful area as needed.
- Burns: Apply topically to minor burns.
- Sore or strained muscles: Apply 1/4 teaspoon plain to sore muscles before and/or after a workout. Add a layer of Lavender or Birch/Himalayan Wintergreen essential oil salves for a nice analgesic blend.
- Night Terrors: Apply 1/4 teaspoon (half on each sole) before bed. Use sparingly for children.
- Mild depression or, SAD (Winter Blues): Apply to bottoms of feet daily.
It’s fascinating to me that powerful essential oils like this can be so soft, like Frankincense, St. John’s Wort essential oil is a non-irritant and non-sensitizing. Many herbalists consider the herb to be safe for children but remember, essential oil is much more potent than an infusion. Always use sparingly, less is more!
St. John’s Wort is photosensitive like citrus oils, be careful of topical application areas that will be exposed to sunlight.
If you’re curious to know more about the extensive research and nothing short of amazing properties of St. John’s Wort check out this article from PubMed! Help for opiate withdrawal without side effects, included.
As mentioned in this paper, there’s a lot of conflicting information about SJW and drug interactions and the lines are somewhat blurred about internal or external use and drug interference. As always, it’s best to check with your health care provider if you’re on any medication before using SJW.