St. John’s Wort Tea
I recently discovered our cupboard was overstocked with St. John’s wort tea, which my husband had bought for digestive issues. I researched whether I would even want to drink it, and I was surprised to find out it had a lot more benefits than just digestion. Since sunburning is an issue while using the herb, I decided that being the end of November as it was, it was the right time to give it a try. I only drank one cup per day because I didn’t need more for any specific medicinal purposes. The taste was a bit bitter, which I found to be quite refreshing. From my research, I was expecting to feel a mood improvement, but that isn’t what I’d say was the major benefit for me.
Over the course of two weeks, I had some interesting, even amazing results. About three days after I started my afternoon regiment of drinking St. John’s wort tea, I bumped my eyebrow on the corner of a piece of plywood, and blood started spilling. The result was an open wound and huge bruise, which I quickly super-glued back together. Within two days, the wound had already sealed itself quite nicely, and by the end of the week all the bruising was gone, and the wound was down to a small red mark. I don’t think I have experienced such accelerated healing since I was at the sea a few years ago, soaking in the salt water with an enormous blister caused by a tick bite. Yes, it was Lyme disease, but that’s another story and another herb. I can’t say for sure that this was the result of the St. John’s wort tea, but it was the only change I made to my diet for a long time. I wish I had thought about using a compress of St. John’s wort on the injury, as well.
The second benefit I enjoyed from the tea was increased energy. I didn’t seem to need as much sleep, and I was able to go about my work with much better focus and for longer. If you don’t have any condition adverse to using the tea, then I would recommend trying it, as you may find it benefits you in some amazing way it did for me. At the bottom of the article, you’ll find a list of ‘Who shouldn’t use’ St. John’s wort.
About St. John’s Wort
St. John’s wort, Hypericum perforatum, has been used since medieval times by herbalists and doctors as a treatment for all emotional and nervous complaints. Studies have shown that it is effective for these purposes. An infusion of St. John’s wort supports emotional balance, helping to bring about a sense of well-being. It has helped people cope with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
- Improves Mood
- Lessens Anxiety and Nervousness
- Helps calm Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Heals Minor Injuries
- Relieves Nerve Pain and Cramping
- Eases PMS Mood Swings
- Increases Sexual Vitality
- Prevention of Gallstones, Liver, and Stomach Diseases
- Calming Effect
- Relieves Pain
- Smoking Cessation
Traditional uses of St. John’s wort include topical treatment for wounds, abrasions, cuts, eczema, burn relief, and hemorrhoids. Applied topically by making a poultice or compress, it can help to relieve cramping or nerve pain. See the “preparation” section below for how to make a compress or poultice.
St. John’s wort tea is effective for relieving PMS and improving mood during menopause. It is used to increase energy and vitality in aging. In the digestive system, St. John’s wort helps to prevent gallstones, liver, and stomach diseases. Tea infused with flowers relieves pain and has a calming effect. For people who are trying to stop smoking, St. John’s wort helps to reduce nicotine cravings.
- To make an infusion (tea), pour 2/3 cup of boiling water into a cup, drop in 1 teabag, or 1 tablespoon of the dried flowers, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain or remove teabag.
- To make a compress for bruises, eczema, burns, minor cuts and abrasions, and hemorroids, prepare the tisane. First wash your hands thoroughly. Rub a little oil on scabs to prevent sticking. Soak a clean soft cloth in the infusion, and wring it out. Hold the damp cloth on the area for up to 2 hours. Compresses can be used hot or cold.
- To make a poultice for nerve pain or cramping, set the teabag in a small dish. Pour just enough boiling water on it to soak the teabag thoroughly. When it is cool enough to handle, press it on the painful area for up to 3 hours.
Who Shouldn’t Use and When
Use of St. John’s Wort as a tea is relatively safe, but use caution. Do not give it to children without first consulting a medical practitioner. Do not use if you are pregnant and breast-feeding, or if you are allergic to St. John’s Wort. If this is the first time you try it, take just one cup and wait to see if you have an adverse effect (allergy) to the tea. It is not meant for severe depression. If you are regularly using St. John’s wort, avoid sunlight and UV exposure. If you are able to, limit the use of the herb to just the winter months. Do not use if you have significant liver or kidney damage or have a high fever. If you are taking prescription medicines, check the list of drug-interactions. The list can be found at:
The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants, Andrew Chevallier, DK publishing.