Farmacy-St. John’s Wort

Feeling depressed?  Anxious?  Worrisome?  Sad?  I, myself, have been a bit of a bitc…ahem…not as nice as I can be lately.  My husband would agree, but probably wouldn’t dare.  This is the all consuming time called Seasonal Affective Disorder that saddens the likes of thousands of people due to the lack of daylight.  Gardeners are particularly affected, I’d guess.  There is a simple remedy for this though.  St. John’s Wort.  Named for St. John the Baptist.

st. john

St. John’s Wort is mild enough to give to a small child before school each day and strong enough to replace anti-anxieties and anti-depressants if desired.  Most pharmaceutical anti-depressants, anti-anxieties, and chronic pain medicines are made from a lab created derivative of St. John’s Wort.  Why don’t they just use the actual plant?

Because, you can’t patent a plant.  “I remember when I made up peppermint way back.”  Nope, You Know Who upstairs is the one who created our perfect medicines to match our bodies.  You can’t patent a plant, therefore you can’t make very much money off of it.  Now, we’re back to it.  Greed.  Your welfare is not the primary drive for the pharmaceutical companies.  For if you knew that you could drink a simple tea, from a flower you might have grown, and were completely well, folks would lose a lot of money out there.  Time to take back our own health and medicine.

There is a lot of false information out there as well (generally warned on pharmaceutical sites) about St. John’s Wort.  They say not to take it if you are pregnant, if you are nursing, if you are on birth control, if you will be in the sun, and a myriad of other ridiculous warnings all to keep us away from one of the strongest and best medicines God gave us.  St. John’s Wort is very safe.

Not only does St. John’s Wort help you feel like yourself in three minutes flat, it helps you cope with things like loss, bullying in school, death, or general distress.  It also is an amazing nervine, which means that it can help heal nerve pain and nerve damage.  I have had a lot of success helping folks with Neuropathy and severe pain from cancer and post-car accidents with St. John’s Wort.  It is also great for sleeping when combined with other sleepy herbs.

Besides its nerve and stress relieving properties, it also suppresses auto-immune diseases like Lupus, Arthritis, Herpes, and HIV.  It is a great cold and flu remedy and preventative.  Because of its blood cleansing and immunity properties, it holds a place in fighting cancer.

Here’s the kicker, if you are taking any anti-depressants or chronic pain medicines you can’t take St. John’s Wort at the same time because they negate each others effects since they are virtually the same thing.  One a robot, one a plant.  Folks, the plant is better.  If you don’t take the lab created stuff, you don’t have any side effects.  Period.  Except for healing; I guess that is the side effect we were all going for in the first place!  (There is a simple solution to getting off the drugs and quickly on the herbs with no side effects though. You can contact me directly for information.)

I am not a doctor, nor do I want to be.  I don’t even trust doctors (not even my friends who are doctors).  I am a Master Clinical Herbalist which means I know my stuff about how herbal medicines work and how to make them.  I have seen some amazing things with this herb, no more amazing then on myself.  Three minutes after taking my St. John’s extract, I will feel better.

St. John’s Wort is a powerful herb, so I like to combine it with herbs of similar properties to make it more well rounded.  You can grow these herbs, or order from a place like Mountain Rose Herbs.  You can make these into a honey like in my Elderberry Honey post, or into an extract like my Cold Medicine post.  A simple tea is lovely too.

For Pain- 2 parts St. John’s Wort, 1 part Willow Bark, 1/2 part Chamomile, and 1/2 part Lemon Balm

For Sadness- 3 parts St. John’s Wort, 1/2 part of one or more of the following; rose petals, lavender, lemon balm, borage, peppermint, chamomile

For Sleep- 1 part St. John’s Wort, 1 part Catnip, 1 part, Chamomile, 1 part Skullcap

For Cold and Flu- 1 part St. John’s Wort, 2 parts Elderberries, 1 part Echinacea, 1/2 part Peppermint

I do have a Stress and Blues and a Pain Reliever already brewed up nice and strong if you should like to just purchase it.

Wishing you all great happiness and less stress!  Is it time to plant yet?

The Apothecary Garden

An Apothecary Garden is an important addition to any farm whether your plot is an apartment balcony or large acreage.  Herbs easily grow in pots on the porch or a south window in the house or in their own space in the garden.

IMG_0658 (Rosemary increases focus and memory)

Apothecary gardens have been a staple in every culture around the world for many, many centuries.  The religious leaders were generally the herbalists, medicine men, and healers of the village.  Herbs have amazing healing powers and are every bit as effective and much more safe than pharmaceuticals.  Herbalists have been known as healers since the beginning of mankind.  Sometimes these things are met with cynicism.  I know how to make a broken bone heal in two weeks.  Folks that aren’t aware of herbs are confused about this.  My own family stems back to the Salem witch hunts where many of my herbalist ancestors were burned at the stake.  Herbs are wondrous and miraculous, but met with confusion all the same.  My goal is to take the woohoo out of herbs.  They heal.  End of story. Now let’s get your Apothecary garden going!

IMG_0656 (Peppermint)

Peppermint is a staple everyone should have.  It is a mild pain reliever but its real job is in the digestive area.  It will calm an upset tummy, help stop heartburn, even heal stomach lining due to ulcers or colitis.  It is carminative, meaning it is anti-gas!  A cup of tea is delicious and with a little chamomile and ginger (which contain the same digestive properties) you will have a fine medicinal tea ready for the taking.

IMG_0657 (St. John’s Wort)

St. John’s Wort is becoming harder to find to grow, but if you can get it, grab it!  The pharmaceutical companies use a derivative of St. John’s Wort that is then lab created to make chronic pain medications and anti-depressants.  If you can change the structure of the constituent then you can patent it.  Can’t patent something God made up.  He was there first.  Therefore, you cannot make very much money peddling a plant.  Big pharma is after a bit more money than that.  Making a tea of St. John’s Wort flowers, leaves, and rose petals is every bit as strong as an anti-depressant/anxiety medication.  There are corporations out there that don’t want you to know that!

IMG_0659 (Roses)

Valerian is a beautiful plant that will get your sleep cycle back into a peaceful rhythm.  It is also an excellent pain reliever.  Add catnip and chamomile to go to sleep.  Add California Poppy and St. John’s Wort for an excellent sleep remedy.

IMG_0661 (Valerian)

IMG_0662 (California Poppy and Calendula)

Stinging Nettles will stop allergies in three minutes flat.  Take care when harvesting them (they aren’t called Stinging for nothing!) and dry them in a paper sack.  Crumble them up and make tea with them.

Dandelions can be made into tea or salad to help heal the liver and gallbladder.

Red Clovers help with women’s health, uterine health, and breast and uterine cancer.

So the weeds that pop up in the garden are there for a reason too!

There are Apothecary gardens that are designed in a circle with paths leading north and south, west and east.  There are Apothecary gardens that have winding paths.  I turned the front three feet of my long front yard into our garden.  The left side is medicinal plants and the right side are culinary (which also have medicinal qualities) herbs.  One large section of the garden holds the Poppies and Calendula (great for skin when infused into oil) to inspire beneficial insects to the garden.  Pots of herbs line the porch and in the winter are brought in to line the window sills.

Head to the nursery and see what you can add to your garden.  Want to learn more and completely take charge of your family’s health?  Look up my correspondence classes for Certified and Master Herbalists and take control of your medicine!

I am also leading an herb walk and medicinal tea talk Sunday, June 30th from 10-12 at Castlewood Canyon.  Meet at the visitor’s center.  Their cost is $7.