St John’s Wort
Latin Name: Hypericum perforatum
Folk Names: St John’s wort, ghost herb, devil’s scourge, scare devil, rosin rose
Planetary Ruler: The Sun
Sacred To: St John the Baptist, Brigid, Baldr, Sunna, Helios, Apollon, Hyperion
Botany: St John’s wort is a herbaceous perennial growing to approximately 3 feet in height. It has an upright stem and produces ovate leaves with clusters of yellow star-shaped flowers.
Healing: One of the herbalist’s essential plants, St John’s wort yields a reddish antiseptic oil when the flowers are bruised. Crushed flowers can be added to olive oil to make a topical treatment for cuts and stings, or made into a massage oil to stimulate circulation and soothe nerve pain. St John’s wort is also used to treat depression and to lift the mood.
Magical Uses: St John’s wort is a herb of sun and may be employed in magic involving success, protection and healing. It is a curse-breaking herb, excellent to use in reversing malicious magic when turned into charm bags or added to incense. Cast dried St John’s wort into a Midsummer bonfire to honour the gods of the sun.