St. John's Wort: Summer Light
St. John's Wort (SJW) has long been associated with the summer time and peak solar energy. Traditionally, it is said to be most potent if harvested on the summer solstice when the earth receives the longest bath of the sun's rays. The bright yellow flowers locking in some serious solar blessings, SJW helps us feel that warmth and shine throughout the darker months. It can uplift those of us with seasonal depression, or really most forms of depression, lethargy, and anxiety. It has historically been used to ward off evil spirits, hung in doorways for protection. SJW helps us fully inhabit our bodies and our truest sense of self, strengthening and healing our entire solar plexus and 3rd chakra. SJW has helped me seriously deconstruct the images of who I think I am, rebuilding me from the ground up in a more authentic version of myself. Physically it is stimulating to the liver, and harmonizing for all the digestive organs
One of the most magical aspects of this plant is how it "bleeds" red from the bright yellow flower. It has long been considered a plant of mystery and magic, purifying our blood, or our "sins" in Christian lore. SJW does physically impact our blood, helping to move sluggish blood, and purify it (by way of supporting the liver).
In Chinese Medicine, someone with "good blood" is also someone who is confident and full of their own authority. When our physical blood is healthy and our circulation is strong, nutrients reach every cell of our bodies, and we are healthy and vital. Metaphysically and energetically, this translates to our life force (our life blood) extending out to the entirety of our body and energy field, so that we are fully claiming the space in our lives, taking charge of ourselves and our destinies. It is often said that when we retract ourselves, make ourselves smaller, or don't believe in ourselves, that we are not "taking up space." When we don't take up all the space in our body and energy field, we give permission to other energies to enter, which then cause disease and dis-ease. SJW helps us believe in ourselves and helps us take up our rightful space in this world.
You can identify it by the way the sunlight shines through the small glands in the leaves (looks like little perforations) and if you squish a flower bud it will release a reddish purple blood
There are a few additional things I'd like to mention about St. John's Wort that I feel are important to know as you continue to work with this plant. And as far as I'm aware, they are only applicable when taking the medicine in "material" or physical doses (multiple squirts of tincture multiple times a day). I have taken SJW a lot over the last 10 years and have never experienced an issue with it. But information is always good!
St. John's Wort is such a powerful liver cleanser and stimulant that it is often contraindicated when taking pharmaceuticals. SJW will help your liver process these drugs more quickly, and therefore make them less effective (such decrease effectiveness of birth control).
When taking high doses of SJW internally you may become more photosensitive (meaning more sensitive to the sunlight and burn more easily). This has most often been documented with the regulated capsule store-bought form, which in my opinion completely changes the medicine. However, if you apply SJW externally it acts as a mild sunscreen. I use SJW oil as a sunblock and it works wonderfully!
* So again, these warnings are only valid when taking high doses, which we are not. Taking 1-3 drops of the blend of plants should not have these impacts. It is more on the energetic level that we are working with them.*
To identify this plant, look for a leggy plant that grows in poor soil in empty city lots, meadows, or along roadsides. To be sure you have the right one, pick a leaf and hold it up to the sunlight. You will see tiny glands that look like holes or perforations. And if you take a flower bud and squeeze it between your fingers, you will see a reddish purple color stain your skin.