Standardized: St. John’s wort
Hypericum perforatum L.
Plant Family: Clusiaceae
Hepericum perforatum is one of many species known commonly as St John’s Wort, and is the species most commonly associated with herbal medicine. It is native to Europe but has since been naturalized to other temperate climates around the world, with particular prominence in North America. The plant is a creeping perennial, producing star-shaped yellow flowers containing long, abundant stamens. St John’s Wort is traditionally harvested near the beginning of the flowering cycle on St John’s Day, which falls annually on June 24th. The flowers continue blooming throughout the summer and may be freely harvested throughout the season.
Considered a holy herb, St John’s Wort was employed for a number of folkloric uses during the Middle Ages. It was once believed that the herb helped to protect people from curses, demons, and lightning.
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