St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
Oh how I love this flower that I associate with mid-summer and its long-awaited heat. I have been tending the most beautiful plant community for the past eight years. Growing at about 5,000 feet these plants' active ingredient, hypericin, is potent. The St. John's Wort flower is different from others as it has an affinity with the sun, and the oil can only be made with fresh plant material. The oil from these bright yellow flowers turns deep red as it infuses into its carrier oil.
Each year we make about 50 gallons of infused oil from this alchemistical plant. We crush the flowers in an old ringer washer or with a rolling pin and then infuse them in extra virgin, organic olive oil. While you don't have to crush the flowers, it yields a much redder and more potent oil if you do. I put the glass jars out in full sun for 3 weeks and every night I take off the lids and wipe off the condensation on the lids. I also top off with more olive oil, making sure that all the plant material is covered in oil. When the oil is ready, we decant it off, strain with muslin, and store in our cool dark basement. We use this versatile plant medicine as an anti-fungal in our Fungal Salvation, as an anti-inflammatory in our Wildflower Prairie Body Oil, as a nervine in our Sore Muscle Salvation and Sore Joint Salvation, and as a wound healer in our Lord My Hands Are So Dry Lotion. Oh, and in the very first product we ever made, our Gaia Goo Healing Salve!