st. john's wort tincture

Make Your Own Effective St. John’s Wort Tincture

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st. john's wort tincture

What is St John's Wort tincture used for?

St. John’s Wort tincture is commonly used by herbalists for its calming properties and is often sought after for supporting emotional well-being and restful sleep. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to make your own St. John’s Wort tincture. It’s a straightforward process that takes just a few minutes and requires only a few ingredients.

What is St. John's Wort?

St. John’s Wort is a flowering plant in the Hypericum genus that grows wild throughout Europe and North America. The flowers of the plant are used to produce an oil known as hypericin, which has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties.

The flowers of the St. John’s Wort shrub have been valued for hundreds of years in both Western and Eastern herbal traditions. Historically, they have been used for their calming properties and to address discomfort. In recent years, St. John’s Wort has become one of the most commonly recommended herbal remedies by naturopaths for supporting emotional well-being and managing mild mood fluctuations. Many prefer it as a natural option due to its gentle nature compared to some prescription medications.

 

How to take St. John's Wort

When seeking natural support for mood and sleep issues, St. John’s Wort is often consumed as a tincture or tea. While many herbal remedies can be made with dried store-bought herbs, St. John’s Wort is unique. This herb is most effective when used or extracted fresh, and dried St. John’s Wort is generally considered less effective.

This plant grows naturally in the wild and can be easily identified and foraged for use in your own herbal preparations. If you can’t find St. John’s Wort in the wild, consider growing some yourself or purchasing a tincture from a reputable source such as Mountain Rose Herbs, which is known for its high-quality, organic herbs and herbal products. Some people find that St. John’s Wort tincture is beneficial, but it’s important to note that it may not work for everyone and has some contraindications.

st. john's wort tincture

How to Make St. John's Wort Tincture

To make a St. Johns Wort tincture, you’ll need the following ingredients and equipment:

  •  St. Johns Wort flowering tops, harvested fresh (remember, dried plant material will NOT work for this tincture).
  • Vodka (or any other palatable alcohol that’s at least 80 proof/40 percent — there’s no need to splurge here, any vodka brand that’s inexpensive and has a neutral taste will do the trick).
  •  Mason jar with lid. It’s best to use amber glass, but if you can’t find those, any glass jar will do as long as you keep the tincture away from light at all times.
  • Funnel
  • Cheesecloth
  • Fine mesh strainer 
  • Amber glass tincture bottles (with dropper)
st. john's wort tincture

Instructions for making St. John's Wort tincture

  1.  To make the tincture, fill a jar two-thirds full with flowering tops of St. John’s Wort.
  2. To make a tincture of St. John’s Wort, fill a jar two-thirds full with fresh flowering tops of the herb. Cover the herb with vodka or other alcohol and seal the jar.
  3. Place the developing tincture in a cool, dark place and give it a gentle shake every few days.
  4. You’ll notice that a tincture made with fresh St. John’s Wort flowers will turn an amber-red color because of compounds in the fresh flowers.  This is perfectly normal and is what you want to see. 
  5. After 4 to 6 weeks, it’s time to decant your liquid.To do this, strain the plant material through a few layers of cheesecloth and squeeze the plant material to make sure all the liquid is expelled. Then carefully pour the tincture into small amber glass tincture bottles.
  6. When the tincture has been decanted, it’s a good idea to label the bottles with the date and suggested dosages.
As you can see, making your own St. John’s Wort tincture is quite simple. The ingredients are affordable and easy to find, and the steps are simple enough for anyone to follow. This is a great project to do in the summer when St. John’s wort is easy to find and there is extra time on your hands. Just be sure to give yourself plenty of time to let the alcohol extract the best effects from the St. John’s Wort herb.
st. john's wort tincture

St. John's Wort Tincture Dosage and Cautions

I am not a doctor or clinical herbalist, so I’d suggest consulting one to discover the best dosage for you. Typically speaking, though, St. John’s Wort tincture is taken in doses of 2 to 4 ml three times per day. A “dropper full” in a standard tincture bottle is 1 ml and a teaspoon is 5 ml.

Again, be aware that St. Johns Wort has a long list of negative drug interactions, so be sure to consult your doctor especially if you’re taking other medications.  It’s also been reported that some people have negative reactions when they’ve been taking St. John’s wort tincture for a while and then suddenly stop, so try to slowly taper off to avoid that (unless advised otherwise by your doctor).

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Disclaimer:

The Outdoor Apothecary website is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. The information provided is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, it is the reader’s responsibility to ensure proper plant identification and usage.

Please be aware that some plants are poisonous or can have serious adverse health effects. We are not health professionals, medical doctors, or nutritionists. It is essential to consult with qualified professionals for verification of nutritional information, health benefits, and any potential risks associated with edible and medicinal plants mentioned on this website.

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