A little perennial shrub which from mid to late summer is covered with very pretty, fragrant flowers. The flowers have five petals and clusters of feathery gold stamens. The plant seems to do best when planted in average soil and prefers full sun but doesn't mind a light shade.
The name St. John's Wort comes from its traditional flowering and harvesting on St. John's day, June 24th. The genus name Hypericum is from the Greek words hyper (above) and eikon (picture). This refers to the use of the plant to ward off evil by hanging plants over a religious icon in the house on St. John's day.
Hypericum is more than a pretty flower. Itt has several medicinal uses with the most common being the treatment of depression. Other uses include treatments for stomach ulcers, nerve related disorders like neuralgia, sciatica and shingles. It also eases the symptoms of menopause. The oil is used topically for wounds, burns and sunburn.
This herb does have some side effects including photosensitivity in some individuals. Studies have also suggested some interaction with certain prescription drugs so you should consult your physician before taking St. John's Wort.
The best six doctors anywhere
And no one can deny it
Are sunshine, water, rest, and air
Exercise and diet.
These six will gladly you attend
If only you are willing
Your mind they'll ease
Your will they'll mend
And charge you not a shilling.
~Nursery rhyme quoted by Wayne Fields, What the River Knows, 1990
The theme for this week's Quote It Saturday is Illness.
Also please visit Weekend Flowers, Floral Friday Fotos and Today's Flowers.