Blog, Salves and Oils

How I fell In Love With St. John’s Wort

In summer 2014 we traveled to Israel to visit our family. It was one of the roughest experiences we have ever encountered, as it was war time. Known as Operation Protective Edge (and/or Operation Strong Cliff and/or Mivtza Tzuk Eitan), The 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict was not a welcoming party for us.

We arrived at 2 am from the airport to my parents house, in Beer Sheva, a city which was under a constant heavy rocket fire. The kids regarded it as a game: every few minutes, when siren went off, they ran along with their cousins to the sheltered room, waiting for the “boom” sound and afterwards exiting the shelter to continue to play their games. This is how the night went on and then the day, as the siren goes off very frequent.

But when the next night has arrived, we needed to go to sleep, and then we realized that it will not be so simple. Kids started to show anxiety signs, fearing they will not be able to wake up if siren goes off. Also, hearing “boom” sounds all around was not helping either. Energy work, calming words, cuddling and any other way we tried to calm them down had no influence. It seemed as we will never sleep again.

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Picture by Amit Shlagman

Luckily, I remembered bringing with me special gifts to give to our family and friends to help them relax. I infused vinegar with st. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) and put it in small spray jars to keep in the pocket and spray straight into mouth as needed.

In my despair, I took one spray bottle and spritzed into my kids mouths. Lo and behold!! In less than 30 seconds the kids were sound a sleep. I could not believe my eyes! They completely dropped dead and slept through the night (and woke up when siren went off…).
That summer, no one got any special gifts from me… we have used all these spray bottles constantly through the whole month of the war, and I personally kept using them for more than a year after that.

Picture by Amit Shlagman

Two years later, I have noticed a change in my vision, and could not use my glasses any more. At the vision test, the eye doctor told me that there was a dramatic shift and I do not need glasses any more. From -1.5 (for the past 20 years) it shifted to 0 (!). These news were so incredible and I regarded them as a result of my lifestyle: eating real foods, often castor oil packs, daily Epsom salts baths, regular massages, regular chiropractic care, yoga, meditation, drinking herbal teas and using home-made herbal products on my skin, and probably many more..

So, I decided to try working on my hearing issues, as I suffered from some tinnitus/ringing in the ear since my army service.  To my deepest amazement, I realized that for the past year or even more, I did not have any ringing in my ears. Whoa. This made me think about other changes that I made in my life in the past year or two in conjunction with my healthier life style.

Talking with Jim McDonald, a local wonderful herbalist in White Lake MI, he said that st. John’s Wort is known for its abilities to heal nerve damage, many times unnoticeable until long time after healing took place.

At that moment, I fell in love with st. John’s Wort!

Picture by Amit Shlagman

This beautiful plant, with almost magical touch, has so much to offer! Among its many benefits, these are the main ones I use st. John’s wort for, sometimes externally as an oil or a salve, and other times internally as a tincture or a tea:

*****For internal use,  if you take any medication, ALWAYS check with your doctor for interactions, especially for depression or muscle relaxant meds*******

  1. Pain is one of the most popular issues that I am using it in my practice. Either internally or externally. Sciatica, joint pain, facial nerve pain, bruises, sprains and more.  You can add some meadow sweet, kava kava or solomon seal to the salve and it would be awesome. According to Jim McDonald, adding Mullein root can enhance st. John’s action when dealing with spinal issues. I love to add cayenne and turmeric to my pain salve, just to help carry the st. John’s wort deeper into the body.
  2. Nerve damage or Nerve injury – st. John’s wort has the ability to restore nerve damage. Diabetic neuropathy can be relived, injuries to nerves can be restored, burns and traumas to the skin can benefit from applying it and so many more conditions.
  3. Anxiety – my own experience had brought me to offer the tincture to those who suffer from anxiety. Just carry a small spray bottle with the tincture, either alcohol based or apple cider vinegar based, to spritz when needed.
    It has been a life saver for many.
  4. Liver and digestive – st John’s Wort can help the liver detoxify. As a bitter and aromatic it affects the digestive system and aids it to function better. For these purposes I love to use it as tea.
  5. Antimicrobial properties – Awesome for infections of wounds, bites, staph bacteria…
  6. Stagnant depression – As an aromatic plant, it can help in situations where we feel stuck. Add some lemon balm and make a tea that will help you ease out of the perception of reaching a “dead-end”.

St. John’s Wort is a remarkable herb. Even though the oil will probably stain your cloths, I am sure you will keep rubbing it on your injured area until you are healed.
Prepare yourself to fall in love with this amazing herb…

Jim Mcdonald –
Herbs with Rosalee –
Kiva Rose –
James Green – The Male Herbal
David Hoffmann – New Holistic Herbal

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