St. John’s Wort

The anti-faerie herb, St. John’s Wort is a protective agent that derives its name from the time of year it’s harvested.  Traditionally harvested on June 24th, or St. John’s Day, it’ been used as a religious icon to ward off evil for many years.  It’s also very poisonous to livestock in large doses, leading to increased heart rate and breathing.  This, coupled with the vast amount of side effects that can come from taking St. John’s Wort, lead me to wonder if this should be counted as an herb, or a poison.

Medically, St. John’s Wort is one of the most frequent herbs used for depression.  However, this is for mild or moderate depression, severe depression (especially thoughts of suicide) should be treated by a licensed physician.  It’s also being used to treat sciatica, or numbness in the lower back and runs down the legs and rheumatic pain.  People will also use it on wounds and burns due to the anti-inflammatory properties.  Studies are currently being done on how St. John’s Wort can help with alcoholism and HIV (though it currently reacts badly with most other medications).

There are some side effects associated with St. John’s Wort, so read carefully before you use this herb.  Common effects include confusion, fatigue, dry mouth, stomach issues, and headache.  It should also not be taken by women actively taking birth control as it lowers estrogen and the effectiveness of the pill.  For people with schizophrenia, it has been linked to an increase in psychosis and consuming the herb is not recommended for people with bipolar disorder.  Combining the herb with an anti-depressant could lead to an increase in serotonin, which can result in muscle spasms or even a coma.  If you are on any medication, check with your doctor before taking this herb to ensure the consumption there of will not be hazardous to your health.

Drawing from the metaphysical side of things, you can wear St. John’s Wort to ward off colds and the flu.  Carrying it can also strengthen convictions and courage, so carry some when you’re facing nasty situations.  If placed under a pillow, it will bring about prophetic, possibly romantic dreams.  As a protection herb, it acts as a barrier against all kinds of dark magic, spirits, faeries, lightning, and fire.  Do be careful when burning it though, as the smoke can cause the same side effects as ingesting.



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