Recognised today for its effective treatment of depression, St John’s wort was more traditionally valued for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory wound healing properties. Fun to make and effective to use on children’s cuts and scrapes, they will love watching the palest yellow oil magically darken to a brilliant scarlet when left for a couple of weeks on a sunny windowsill.
Ingredients to make the oil:
- 30-50gms St John’s wort flowering tops
- 500ml sunflower oil (enough to cover the flowers)
To make the balm:
- 1tsp beeswax
- 50ml infused St John’s wort oil
Lightly bruise the flowering tops, cover with the oil and then just leave to infuse on a sunny windowsill. Sunlight is essential to the process so turn the jar occasionally to maximise the effect and turn the oil bright scarlet. If it hasn’t happened after a month just be a bit more patient and let the sun do its thing.
Strain the bright red oil and discard the flowers. The oil can be used as it is, or you can take one more step to turn it into a balm:
Very gently dissolve the beeswax in a pan in 50ml of the infused oil. This should take 1-2 minutes only and then pour straight into a wide-mouthed jar. It will set into a balm as it cools.
How to use
Apply to the affected area 2-3 times a day but . . .
Caution: do not expose treated skin to sunlight and wash off immediately if any irritation occurs. The oil will keep in a cool place for 6-12 months and the balm for up to a year.