|What is it?||St. John’s Wort is a flowering plant with a long history of use for treating depression as well as topical use for its anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties.|
|INCI||Hypericum Perforatum (the part of the plant used and format is also noted, i.e. flower/stem/root, extract/macerated oil/distillate, etc.)|
|Appearance||The plant has small, star-shaped yellow blossoms. An infused oil should be a deep red colour, indicating high hypericin content.|
|Usage rate||This varies with the format (macerated oil, powdered extract, hydrosol, etc.). Check with your supplier.|
|Solubility||This depends on the format. The petals themselves are insoluble, but you can also purchase calendula hydrosol (water soluble) and calendula extracts (oil or water soluble).|
|Why do we use it in recipes?||We use extracts of St. John’s Wort in our skin care products to harness its anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. These properties make it especially useful in salves and balms.|
|Do you need it?||No|
|Refined or unrefined?||Either—both the dried plant matter and more refined extracts have their uses. I have both the dried petals and a water soluble extract and both are useful in different projects.|
|Strengths||A good botanical source of anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties.|
|Weaknesses||As with all botanicals, allergic reactions are a possibility.|
|Alternatives & Substitutions||A different herb (or blend of herbs) with anti-inflammatory/antimicrobial properties (chamomile, calendula) would be a good place to start.|
|How to Work with It||This varies with the format; check with your supplier.
Generally speaking, extracts go in the cool down phase of recipes. Check the solubility of whatever you have to ensure it is miscible with the formula.
|Storage & Shelf Life||Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, the dried plant matter will last approximately two years. Check with your supplier for specific extracts and infusions as there is quite a lot of variety.|
|Tips, Tricks, and Quirks||St. John’s Wort is poisonous to livestock.
Taking St. John’s Wort internally can conflict with many medicines, including antidepressants. Be sure to check with your physician before taking St. John’s Wort.
|Recommended starter amount||50–100g (1.76–3.3oz) for the dry herb. 30mL (1fl oz) for the liquid extract. 250mL (8fl oz) for a pre-made infused oil.|
|Where to Buy it||Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.|