bounty of the vacant lot – st. john’s wort

next in the series a little more unusual, but not really all that uncommon.  i give you

st. john's wort

st. john’s wort.  you know i think the first question i have myself asking is just what is a wort?  you see all kinds of plants that are called wort, what does that mean?

apparently it’s an old word basically meaning a medicinal plant.  since there are so many traditional medicinal plants that means that there are lots of worts out there.  anytime something is a wort its likely worth a second look.  the second question is of course who is st. john.  while there are many st. johns in this case it likely refers to john the baptist, since the traditional day for harvesting corresponds to his saint day.

there are several types of st. john’s wort, this one just happens to be common st. john’s wort.  it like our friend the sweet clover and queen anne’s lace is considered to be invasive.

st. john’s wort has been used as a medicinal for thousands of years, and not just for it’s most commonly know contemporary use as an antidepressant, but also as a abortifacient.  extremely used as antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.  i’ve never gathered or made st. john’s wort tincture, but since i tend to suffer from the winter blues, and need a little something to take the edge off i’d like to try.

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One response to “bounty of the vacant lot – st. john’s wort

  1. Kathleen Peabody

    How wonderful seeing St. John’s wort growing and your comments about it. Isn’t it beautiful? As a long-time “herbie,” it’s fun to see others enjoying the plant too. And, thanks for the historical perspective. If there’s anything the Herb Society can offer, please give us a ring.

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