St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is considered a noxious weed in Idaho, but it's also a medicinal plant ally we love and depend on! So we are teaming up with Boise Parks & Rec to harvest St. John's Wort and help support native landscapes at the same time.
Please join us on Thursday, June 29th at 6 pm at Jim Hall Foothills Learning Center!
Music by The Kates (starts at 5:30) followed by an educational panel discussion (with Boise Parks and Rec's Martha Brabec, The Vervain Collective's Dr. Nicole Pierce, NMD, plant ecologist Richard Rachman, The Fungal Forager Krista Wilmorth, and our favorite Wild Ginger, Erika Knipe) then we'll head out for a plant walk to ID and gather flowering SJW. Bonus gathering back at the Learning Center to chat and garble our harvest!
This event is free. However, registration is required!
Herb of the Month - St. John's Wort #VERVAINHOTM
St. John's Wort (Hypericum Perforatum)
What is St. John's Wort? St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) ("SJW") often blooms around the summer solstice and can be identified by its bright yellow flowers and pinprick perforated-looking leaves that "let the light shine through." It has been used for centuries by herbalists for its mystical qualities: SJW was associated with fairies and witches (female herbalists that is!!) and many people believed it served as protection from demons and evil spirits. From at least the sixteenth century to the present day, herbalists have used SJW preparations to treat wounds, alleviate depression and "melancholy," and soothe burns, sore muscles, and nerve pain. SJW has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral properties. Be careful though, because SJW is such a powerful liver detoxifier that some pharmaceuticals are cleared from the liver before they have had a chance to work (it's important to check the contraindications of your Rx if you're adding SJW to your healthcare regimen). St. John's Wort Infused Oil To make the infused oil, pick the buds from the plant and pack them loosely in a half-pint canning jar, filling it almost to the top. Fill the jar with a carrier oil, stir well, and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Check the oil every day for several weeks to make sure all plant parts are covered with oil. Once the oil has turned to a brilliant dark red, strain off the flowers and store in a dark, cool location. Identification & Harvesting As soon as SJW starts poppin' in our area, crush some of the bright yellow blooms between your fingers and if your fingers turn blood red, you've found Hypericum perforatum! Another identifying feature is the pinpoint holes in the leaves that "let the light shine in" so cheerfully. SJW is an invasive species so feel free to wildcraft this magical herbal ally (no need to help it spread!), and make your own potent plant medicine! Ready for more St. John's Wort? Vervain carries St. John's Wort oil, bulk herb & tincture, and other wonderful, uplifting blends. St. John's Topical Oil Happiness "Coffee" Powder Emotional Ally Female Hormone Support Pain Salve If you'd like to learn more about springtime and early summer foraging, check out these great resources:
As always, follow the Black Forager on Instagram! @blackforager & youtube
Books you can find in the Book Nook at The Vervain Collective:
Top picks for June:
Sun & Sting Relief- In Bulk! Eeep On SALE!
Join Us for Class!
with Susan Fullmer
$40 for each class
The above WEDNESDAYS: 4:30-6:30 PM
Start at 6pm at Vervain, then walk outside toward the river! Walk will go for at about an hour.
Learn Plant ID and community science with a botanist, all with the power of your phone!
Richard Rachman is a plant ecologist and PhD student at Boise State University studying wildfire in sagebrush steppe and urban invasive species, like goathead. Richard is a queer jew from Los Angeles, and got his masters in ecology and evolution from Cal State Northridge. He spends his free time doing community science, studying monarch butterflies with Xerces Society, and playing Pokémon.
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We can't wait to see you!