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Henge Happenings
Issue 71
Lughnasadh 2006

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   Issue 71

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The Bard's Path
Tree Legends, Lore & Whimsy
Part One: Fairies, Healing and General Folklore
A Summer Night's Trance...
The Seer's Path
St. John's Wort
St. John's Wort Salve
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The Seer's Path

St. John's Wort

(Hypericum Perforatum)

Photo of St. John's WortSince St. John's Wort is an herb of the sun and one of the honored deities at
Lughnasadh is the Sun God Lugh, it would seem appropriate to discuss this herb at
this time.

St. John's Wort is an herb which is very useful medicinally as well as magically, and has been used by herbalists for centuries as a calming agent, pain reliever, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and as an anti-viral. Taken internally, either in a capsule, tincture, or tea, it can relieve mild depression. The normal dosage as a tea is one teaspoon of herb to one cup of boiling water taken two to three times a day. Some people will find that they will notice a difference within a week, while others may take a month before noticing a difference. St. John's Wort, like many other herbs, acts subtly to nudge the body back into alignment, and it does this without causing drowsiness or fatigue. Science is not exactly sure how St. John's Wort works and many theories abound, but one thing researchers all agree on, it does work. St. John's Wort has been found as effective as Elavil and Trofranil in treating mild depression. Please discuss taking this herb with your doctor, especially if you already are taking prescribed antidepressants, as this herb may enhance the action of the drugs you are already taking.

Ear infections, herpesvirus infection (cold sores) and mastitis have all been successfully treated with St. John's Wort. The anti-viral activity of this herb is enhanced when one is exposed to the sun and in some individuals may cause sun sensitivity.

St. John's Wort can also help relieve headaches, mostly those caused by tension. It contains compounds which relax the blood vessels thus improving blood flow to the brain. Though St. John's Wort will not help you sleep for longer periods of time, it will help you sleep deeper. Thus improving the quality of the sleep that you do get. I would advise that if you are preparing for any surgeries that require anesthesia, you stop taking St. John's Wort for about two weeks prior to the surgery as this herb will enhance the effects of the anesthesia.

When infused in olive oil and made into a salve, St. John's Wort has been found to speed healing of burns and cuts. It has also been useful in the treatment of psoriasis and warts.

It is the tops and flowers of this plant which are used. The flavonoids and components are easily extracted in water, alcohol or olive oil. Harvest at midsummer when it is flowering, bundle it loosely and hang upside down in a dark, cool, airy place until
dry, then simply crumble and store in a glass jar out of direct sunlight. Sunlight will rapidly fade your herbs making them less effective or even render them useless. Before you harvest, please remember to sit with the plants and let them know your reason for harvesting, they are generally very willing to help you with your needs as long as you are respectful and polite.

Photo of person grinding herbs with morter & pestel.The magickal uses of St. John's Wort are as varied as the medicinal. The gender of this herb is male and the ruling planet is the Sun, the element is fire. As stated in Ellen Evert Hopman's book, A Druid's Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year, the Welsh called this plant the "leaf of the blessed" It was understood to be an ideal combination of water and fire, the ultimate healing essence." This is a very powerful herb when used in healing rites, it is also useful when hung in the room of someone that is ill.

St. John's Wort is also a symbol of invincibility, courage, power and fertility. It can banish several forms of malevolence from the home. This herb is a good choice for protection or to encourage love to be brought into one’s life.

For divining purposes wear St. John's Wort, drink it in a tea or burn in an incense blend to ease one into the proper mind set. It has also been said that placing St. John's Wort under the pillow of an unmarried woman will help her to dream of her future
husband.

This herb is a truly blessed plant and will bring health, happiness and blessings to those who use it wisely.

As Always,
Walk with Wisdom

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

ST. John’s Wort Salve

1 cup olive oil
1 moderate handful of St. John’s Wort
1-2 tbs. bees wax

Bees Making CombPlace St. John’s Wort and olive oil into a clear glass jar and set in a sunny place to
infuse. After about 8 hours in the sun, strain the spent herb out of the oil and add the
bees wax to the oil. Warm this on the stove until the wax is melted, do not let boil.
Place into a tin or jar to harden. Store in the refrigerator to prevent spoilage as this contains no preservative. Apply as needed.


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