Summer Memories and Magical Herbs

June 27th, 2019

I’ve always loved this time of year. Back when I was at school it meant holiday time because we used to finish school on the 30th of June. For me, the summer was mainly associated with holidays at my grandma’s cottage in Hrochot… beautiful countryside, playing outside all day long, long walks and hiking but also early mornings, as we had to water the garden before it was too hot. I loved (and still do) going with my mum and harvesting some wild grown herbs like St. John’s wort and oregano. I’ll also never forget the sweetest and smallest wild strawberries, cherries and the other berries later in summer.

We’d arrive home with baskets full of herbs and we’d sort them. Some of them would be wound tight in little bunches and would dry in the loft, hanging upside down for a few weeks. The others, like St. John’s wort, mum would marinate. She would put the flowers and some leaves into a jar and pour virgin olive oil or sweet almond oil in making sure the flowers were completely covered with oil to prevent moulding. The jars were then placed on the window sill for about 4 weeks after which mum would strain the flowers using a muslin cloth. Then… VOILA, we had lovely red/brown sometimes even deep red oil.   
Remember, oil should be kept in a dark glass bottle in a cool, dark place.

This oil, that you too can make, has many therapeutic properties: It’s beneficial in cases of inflamed nerve conditions like neuralgia, sciatica, and fibrositis. From my own experience, I used this oil with great success when I had sciatica a few years ago
It lowers the skin temperature when used on burns and inflammation, including sunburn
It’s been suggested for haemorrhoids, gout, rheumatism, sores, ulcers, urticaria, herpes (L. Price, 2008)
When mixed with calendula oil it is very effective on bruises
When diluted with a base carrier oil (25% dilution) it’s very effective as a full body massage oil for stress relief
 
Note that it does have photosensitising properties, therefore, shouldn’t be used before sun exposure.
 
St.John’s wort plant can also be used to make herbal tea for anxiety, depression, gastric conditions, and unrest. Again, this tea shouldn’t be digested before going out, as it can cause delayed hypersensitivity or photodermatitis. 
 
Animals also know the benefits of this oil. According to Caroline Ingraham, St John’s wort is frequently selected by animals who suffer from fits and epilepsy and in cases of anxiety, depression, nerve pain, and tooth pain.
 
Another oil my mum makes is calendula oil. This oil is made by maceration of calendula blossoms in vegetable oil.

Calendula oil promotes healing and reduces inflammation, and can be used on: Broken veins
Varicose veins
Soothing tired legs
Bruises
Cuts
For irritated and sensitive skin

Give it a try and let me know what you think ❤︎
Jitka xx

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