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German: Jesu-Wunden-Kraut, Tausend-Löcher-Kraut, Tüpfel-Hartheu, Sonnenwendkraut, Mannskraft, Konradskraut,, Jageteufel, Herrgottsblut, Johannisblut
Plantae; Spermatophyta, Angiospermae - Flowering Plants; Dicotyledonae; Dilleniidae; Theales; Hypericaceae - St. John's Wort Family
Dr. Mueller, proved this drug and then introduced into Homoeopathic practice in 1837. Allen's Encyclop. Mat. Med. Vol. V, 53.
Description of the substance
Centuries ago, Europeans hung St. John's wort in windows and above images to protect from evil spirits. The generic name, Hypericum, comes from the Greek for "above an icon." Traditionally, St. John's wort leaves and flowers were gathered on St. John's Day (June 24th - the birthday of John the Baptist), and made into a tonic used to protect the eyes and to guard against all those evil spirits. The specific part of the name, perforata refers to the translucent glands in the leaves that look like perforations. The word "wort" means simply "plant" and is a part of many plant names.
There are more than 400 species of Hypericum, occurring throughout the temperate regions of the world in all types of habitats. Many of the American species make handsome garden ornamentals. Some authorities do not recognize the family, Hypericaceae, and instead include all the St. John's worts in the Clusiaceae, the mangosteen family.
The scientific name of this plant is Hypericum perforatum. (1) It's common names include: St. Johnswort, Amber, Goatweed, Johnswort, Klamathweed, Rosin Rose, and Tipton weed. (4)
The roots of this plant are an abbreviated taproot system. The roots branch deeply into the earth, however some of them do not and are shallow, these are usually the ones that reproduce. (1)
This plant has numerous erect stems, that appear rust colored. (1) The stems are also woody and grow any where from 30-120 cm tall, (2-5ft). The leaves of this plant are oblong and/or elliptic, they contain transparent glands, which produce an oil that makes animals photosensitive. (1,2) These leaves are attached directly to the stem and the edges of the leaves contain tiny black dots.
These flowers are anywhere from 1 to 2 cm in diameter, they are yellow and develop in clusters. Each flower consists of five petals, there are also transparent black dots around the edges of each petal. (1) The flowering period of this plant is May through September. This flower also contains a numerous amount of stamens.(1,2)
The seed capsules of this plant are rounded at the end, and all of them are about 5mm long. They are rusty in color and each capsule contains numerous seeds. These seeds are brown (almost black) in color and are any where from 0.6 to 0.7 mm long. Each seed contains a germination inhibitor, but the germination increases over time during rainy periods because the inhibitor is washed off. (1)
Methods of Reproduction/Spread:
They reproduce through seeds and roots, and can be spread by the wind, wild life, and of course by humans. (1)
Life Style/ Habits/ Life Duration:
St. Johnswort grows in fields and can push out native plants. It is a perineal, which means it comes back every year from the roots. (1)
This weed has many impacts. It produces an oil from a gland that forms on the leaf, this oil can cause animals to blister, develop rashes, loose weight, be supersensitive to light, and if the animal eats to much it can even die. It also out competes the native North American vegitation decreasing the available forage for wildlife and ranching. (1)
The native range of this weed is Western Europe, Northern Africa, parts of Asia, India, China, and Japan. (2)
Includes: Agrilus hyperici, Aplocera plagiata, Chrysolina hyperici, Chrysolina quadrigemina and Zeuxidiplosis giardi. (3)