Wednesday, July 11, 2012

St. John's Wort Oil & Catnip

St. John's Wort Oil
Traditionally, St. John’s Wort is harvested on St. John’s Day (June 24). However, harvesting can take place as early as the summer solstice or as late as the end of the month.

This wonderful red oil has been used historically to soothe sunburn and relieve nerve pain relating to repetitive motion injuries, strains and shingles.

Flowers, buds and some leaves are gathered during the flowering season. Leave them rest overnight. Put them in a clean jar and fill with olive oil. Make sure that al parts are covered with oil to avoid mould. Cover the lid of the jar with a muslin, so moisture can evaporates. Leave for 4 till 6 weeks and then strain with cheesecloth or filter it through a coffee filter.
Actually I prefer to work with dried herbs, because they don't cause mold.

Please note that St. John's Wort Infused oil has none of the anti-depressant effect of the herbal extract. The Hypericum, used to treat anxiety and depression does not come through the infusion process.


Is harvested at peak potency from my garden. Put leaves and stems in a clean jar and fill with vodka, leave for a minimum of six weeks and strain.

Catnip (Nepeta cataria) has been used historically as a mild tranquilizer that helps relieve stress and stimulate the appetite. Catnip herb has also been used to treat anxiety, colds, flu, fever, inflammation, and general aches and pains. This cat‚’s fancy has also been shown to be effective as a mosquito and insect repellent.

It is also used with restlessness, nervous irritation, nervous headaches, insomnia, amenorrhea and dysmenorrhea.

Caution: Not recommended for use during pregnancy or lactation.


  1. Look at the darling bee with a white band on!! Your st. john's wort grew so tall!How lovely. Very nice harvest and information, Rita. Thank you for sharing xoxoxox Love you sis!

  2. Thanks sis, it's from the seeds you send me :)
    Big hugs XXX

  3. Hello Dear Rita, I was almost excited, I thought I'd discovered some St Johns Wort on one of our dawn walks. Returning to have a look, I see only my memory failing me as they're other yellow tall flowers :( Love the shape of them, like little sunshine filled stars. Are they easy to grow from seed? (I haven't grown anything from seed yet) Thats wonderful to know for treating shingles, which can be excruciating I've heard.
    Love the catnip too, think Ive seen that too but no doubt it'll probably be my memory failing again lol.
    Lovely photos & great source of inspirational information. Thankyou.

  4. Hello Ms. Chief L.W. Thanks for the nice comment. So disappointing, but they grow easily from seeds. In Autumn they go in seed, If you want, I will send you some seed. I have good results with St John's Wort oil for my shoulder.I have Osteoarthritis, and rubbing my shoulder 3 times a day with the oil softens the pain.

  5. Stunning bee photo, Rita. I harvest SJW from the first flower (around 21st June give or take a week) until it stops flowering in September. I infuse the oil for as long as I remember to do something with it - usually around October when the summer madness dies down and I want my kitchen windowsill down. I have also used the seedpods to make a SAD syrup with lemon balm. I'm just wondering where you got the information about the oil not being useful for depression. You don't drink the oil, only use it externally where it is specific for any kind of nerve pain - hence the shingles and sciatica type pain etc. It's also good for inflamed eczema which has become infected and for any kind of burns.

    You may be leaving your catnip tincture a little long - 3 weeks is the normal maceration time. The longer you leave it the more tannins you draw out so the darker and more bitter the tincture becomes. I always think of catnip as a tea herb, rather than a tincture, especially as it's one of the few herbs you can use with young children - really good in a calming bath before bedtime for overtired kids.

    I'm really glad the SJW oil is helping your shoulder - you might want to add some meadowsweet oil to the SJW and maybe some Solomon seal root oil as well.

  6. Ooooh RitaM, that would be soooo kind & so appreciated. My very first planting, or is it sowing? :) Will email you my address & maybe I can fwd you some stamps.
    Many thanks

  7. Nice blog, Rita! Love it, and now following it too! Marci