How to Make a Poitable Infusion of Hypericum From My Garden?

I have a great profusion of ornamental St John*s Wort

in my garden and a friend of mine says that it makes a

"tea" that gives a delicious pick-up. Is this true and

if so how is it prepared and what part of the plant is

used?



2 thoughts on “How to Make a Poitable Infusion of Hypericum From My Garden?

  1. Hello, mole!

    A quick internet search will reveal to you that there is a great deal

    of debate and controversy surrounding this herb. Fortunately, most of

    it is not germane to your question.

    Tea is made from the flowers and new-growth tips of Hypericum. A

    succinct but informative page at Ohio State University recommends 1-2

    teaspoons of the herb steeped in boiling water for 5-10 minutes, and

    consumed no more than three times a day. This equates roughly to the

    standard dosage of 300mg in capsule form. The link:

    http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/5000/5415.html

    My well-thumbed copy of Rodale's Herbal Encyclopedia dates from before

    the current fad for St. John's Wort. They cite traditional uses of

    the herb as a disinfectant, and as a treatment for nausea and

    diarrhoea. Bear in mind that the only therapeutic use of this herb

    which is backed by up-to-date research is as a mild antidepressant.

    On that subject: St. John's Wort acts as a serotonin re-uptake

    inhibitor, like Prozac or Paxil. It is effective for MILD depression,

    but not serious depression. It should not be consumed if you are on

    ANY antidepressant or other prescription medication. Like many herbal

    remedies, its interactions with prescription drugs are not yet

    thoroughly mapped. Also, if you are a person who burns rather than

    tanning, you should be aware that the herb can promote

    photosensitivity.

    As for the flavour of your tea, you will probably want to mix the St.

    John's Wort with more familiar and widely-used herbs such as

    lemongrass, mint, chamomile, or maybe even catnip! Many herbal sites

    will be happy to recommend individual herbs or blends of herbs which

    would work well together. And of course, experimentation is always

    fun.

    Good luck, and if you plan on drinking this regularly keep up to date

    on further research into the toxicology of this substance.

    Search strategy:

    +tea +"St. John's Wort"

    Also: Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs, 1987, Rodale Press

    (2000 edition currently available in hardcover)

  2. NB: The medicinal herb is h. perforatum. If you are growing the

    ornamental "tricolor" variety with the variegated leaves, it may not

    contain the same active compounds. This grower comments that it is

    "not medicinal":

    http://www.morningsunherbfarm.com/catalog(1).html

    (scroll to the "H" section, or use your browser's search-on-page

    function to go straight there)

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