This is the perfect time of year to harvest St. John’s wort as it typically blooms right after the summer solstice. These are the beautiful yellow flowers you can spot all over Portland, usually along the sidewalks and edges of yards. The best way to harvest them is to cut or snip off the flowers. These flowers can be made into an oil like we detailed last month and you will get a beautiful rich red oil.
This month we’re going to show you how to make an herbal tincture in alcohol. St. John’s wort is probably best known as an antidepressant herb. It is also great for nerve pain from injuries, menstrual cramp pain, and as a mild sleep aid.
Place 3-4 cups St. Johns Wort flowers in a quart size mason jar. Then cover with 12-16 oz of 80-120 proof clear alcohol like vodka or gin. This mixture should be tightly packed, but leaving a few inches on top. Cap tightly and place in a warm or sunny spot to encourage the extraction. Shake the jar a couple times a week for 4-6 weeks. Then strain and store in amber jars.