St Johns Wort: The Magickal Herb

It was customary in Britain and Europe on St John's Eve (June 23), to gather certain herbs, such as St John's wort, vervain, trefoil and rue, all of which were believed to have magical properties. St John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) does, in fact, have scientifically proven anti-depressant qualities. Drinks were brewed from it to cure madness, sciatica, epilepsy and paralysis. The salve made from the herb cured wounds from spears and swords - or, so it is said.

Flowers of St John's wort used to be collected in Britain and Europe on St John's Eve (tonight) and worn on the body or hung over doorways as protection against witches. It was also placed near windows as witches can look in to cast a spell. Even in recent times the people of the Landes district of France would make crosses of wort on their doors.

In Britain, one old custom was for a maiden to pick a sprig of St John's wort and wear it in her bosom until Christmas, by which time the man who was to be her husband, and he alone, would see it and take it from her.

In ancient Latvia, Jani on June 23 was the year's most important festival and it, too, was a celebration of the Summer Solstice. In preparation, everything in the town, including buildings and livestock, was decorated with garlands of papardi (ferns) and janu zali (John's grass). Children traditionally went into the woods on Jani, searching for the fern blossom (like a 'snipe hunt' in North America, since the fern blossom does not exist, or else this was St John's wort) which supposedly bloomed only at night on Jani. Searching for, and theoretically finding, the fern blossom brought good luck.

Pip Wilson is the editor of "Wilson's Almanac" http://www.wilsonsalmanac.com which has more than 3,000 fully searchable pages on the folklore of the calendar and many other topics. It is the home of the free daily ezine of the same name.

In The News:


Herbology

Herbology is one of the oldest healthcare sciences known to... Read More

Reflexology & Meridian Therapy

Reflexology & Meridian Therapy are combined healing arts that utilize... Read More

Precious Gems of Wisdom

The New Age should also be called The Stone Age,... Read More

Plantar Warts Treatment - Is There A Natural Medication Which Gets Rid Of Plantar Warts?

Plantar Warts are growths which occur on the bottom of... Read More

Teas From Plants Around You and Their Benefits

All teas unless specified are brewed with 1 teaspoon dry... Read More

What are the Best Roles for Western and Alternative Medicine?

I think it's very confusing for patients to decide what... Read More

Tips for Staying Young Eternally

What is something that goes up but never comes down?... Read More

Getting Rid Of Gallstones Naturally

The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped organ that sits on... Read More

All Natural Shampoo - 5 Tips

All Natural Shampoo - 5 Tips Here are 5 tips... Read More

Using Essential Fatty Acids for Reducing Arthritis Joint Pain

Essential fatty acids provide protection for the whole body. In... Read More

Hinoki: Natural Essences in Abundance

Living in a hectic urban landscape, do you look forward... Read More

Natural Remedy for Bronchitis

Bronchitis is a condition defined as the inflammation of the... Read More

How to Treat Your Liver Right

The liver has many functions, but the one I will... Read More

Hypnosis, Hypnotherapy, Hypnotism, and the Truth about the Funky Chicken!

Over two hundred years after this momentous event the world... Read More

Alternative Medicine vs Conventional Medicine - Pt 2

In Part 1 we discussed the fact that alternative medicine... Read More

Magnetic Bracelet Used in Research Study Now in United States

At the end of 2004 results from a study on... Read More

Quick Tip for Runners Who Have Knee Pain

Running with knees that hurt and are not getting better... Read More

Constipation and Natural Remedies

There are two types of constipation, organic and functional. Organic... Read More

Constipation: the Fast, Easy Answer to Something No One Talks About

Everyone jokes about constipation, but it's no joke if you're... Read More

Stammering Or Stuttering

Stammering or as it is sometimes known as stuttering is... Read More

Warning! It Is Possible That You May Die Before Your Time!

Do you ever think about just how important good health... Read More

At-Home Relief For Ingrown Hairs

#1 Use Antibiotic SoapAntibiotic soap helps to clear up and... Read More

Mental Health Maintenance Is Made Simple

Your mental health is often drastically improved when you use... Read More

Colloidal Silver - Time For a Comeback?

I'm sure you know what it's like to be sick.... Read More

Pros and Cons of Isopropyl Alcohol

Recently, the term "isopropyl alcohol" has been liken to poisonous... Read More