St. John's Wort Salve

THIS IS NOT EDIBLE. Its phenomenal success in the treatment of depression has unfortunately often overshadowed St. John's wort's traditional use as a topical antiseptic and anti-inflammatory wound healer. This salve aims to set the record straight. Great to use on children's cuts and scrapes, and they'll love making the infused oil too, which magically turns from the palest yellow to brilliant scarlet after a couple of weeks on a sunny windowsill.

Show: Grow Your Own Drugs

TOTAL TIME: 720 hr 10 min
Prep: 5 min
Inactive Prep: 720 hr
Cook: 5 min



1 to 1 3/4 ounces/30 to 50 g St John's wort flowering tops
2 1/8 cups sunflower oil, to cover
1 teaspoon beeswax


Lightly bruise the flowering tops, then place in a glass jar. Cover with the sunflower oil, then let steep on a sunny windowsill, turning occasionally, for up to 1 month. Sunlight is crucial for the reaction to work, and when it has you will be rewarded with an oil that, as if by magic, has turned a bright rusty red color.

If after a month the oil is still clear, leave it a little longer until the sun has done its work - don't worry, it will eventually get there. Once bright red, strain out the spent flowers and discard. The resultant oil can be applied to wounds as it is, or turned into a rich, thick salve perfect to pop into your hand/man-bag.

Gently dissolve the beeswax in 50 milliliters of the infused St. John's wort oil on the lowest flame possible - this should take no longer than 1 to 2 minutes. While still warm, pour into a wide-mouthed jar. The salve will set as it cools.

Apply as needed to cover the affected area, up to 3 times a day.

Do not expose treated skin to direct sunlight. If any irritation occurs, wash off immediately.

The salve will keep in a cool dark place for up to 1 year. The infused oil will keep for 6 months to 1 year.


The content of this program is for entertainment purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. Always consult a professional healthcare provider before trying any form of therapy or if you have any questions or concerns about a medical condition. The use of natural products can be toxic if misused, and even when suitably used, certain individuals could have adverse reactions.




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