Although some species of Hypericum are indeed known as St. John’s Wort, this is the one used most frequently in herbal medicine. St. John’s Wort is a perennial herb native to Europe and most famous for its use as a mood enhancer. Reaching 1-3 feet in height, this plant is said to be effective against depression and anxiety while also having the ability to actually reduce alcohol cravings. Some have used it for menstrual disorders and others have administered it to heal wounds. It also has antiviral and antibacterial possibilities. The use of St. John’s Wort as a medicinal herb dates back to the ancient Greeks. It gets its name because it was traditionally hung above pictures to ward off evil on St. John’s day. The name hypericum actually refers to the Greek words “hyper” and “eikon”, which translate into “above” “image”. Despite its utility in humans, the plant is poisonous to livestock. It is also an MAOI, which means it can easily interact with medications and certain foods.
Seeds can be sown on the surface of the soil outdoors or even started in pots indoors. Use a rich, well-draining soil. Spray the surface of your soil to keep it moist. Then flatten it out without applying much pressure. Sow the seeds on the surface, and cover with clear plastic to seal in moisture. Keep at around 60 degrees Fahrenheit in good light. The seeds can take as long as 90 days to germinate. Keep your plants at a final spacing of about 1.5 feet apart in full sun to partial shade.