St. John's Wort; Hypericum perforatum, has been used in herbal healing for more then 2,000 years. St. John's Wort is a woody, perennial that reaches 2 feet tall, its leaves are dotted with glands that produce a red oil. Its little star shaped flowers bloom bright yellow in summer and you can harvest both the flower and the leaves of the plant. Early colonists introduced St. John's Wort to North America in the 1800's. It is a great herb to add to your herbal medicine cabinet.
The most common use for St. John's Wort is as a mood support. It has been tested and shown to be an MAO inhibitor helping people to keep a happier mood. Which is a great boost living in Northern Michigan when winter can become many grey days tied together. But it has other great healing abilities.
St. John's Wort can be made into a topical ointment to speed wound and bruise healing. Studies have found antibiotic properties as well as anti-inflammatory properties within both the flower and the leaves. When ingested It can also be used for immune system stimulation, thanks to its immune-stimulating flavonoids which also gives the herb its anti-inflammatory properties.