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The true St. John's wort, popularly also called Herrgottsblut belongs to the family of Hypericaceae. The midsummer plant owes its German name to the Johanni day, ie the 24th of June. Accordingly, Hypericum perforatum, the botanical term, flourishes between the end of June until well into September. St. John's wort is a native medicinal plant that grows primarily in groups and is mainly native to the whole of Europe, western Asia and northern Africa. The herb belongs to the perennial flowering herbs, that is, it is hardy and perennial and usually carries in each summer again a rich, bright yellow flowers.
Cultivation and care
Hypericum perforatum develops its full flowering only in medium to large plant groups. It prefers a half shady location. If in doubt, it should be planted shady rather, because it grows contrary to the sun. Although it can tolerate full sunshine, it requires more care. The deciduous plant is comfortable in both warm and moderately warm locations and requires a nitrogen-poor soil. Acid soils have a negative effect on flowering and plant growth. The soil, preferably mother earth, enriched with humus, should be kept evenly dry during the green period, because the St. John's wort tolerates only moderate moisture.
In addition, the soil should not be too firm and clayey, because Hypericum perforatum is a rooting plant up to 50 cm deep, whose roots are highly branched and expansive. The medicinal plant can also reach a height of about one meter and therefore also requires sufficient space upwards. The St. John's wort is altogether an extremely easy-care plant, which enriches an herb bed very much. It usually does not need to be cast separately, does not need frequent cuts and will flower reliably for several years. Only in the spring, after the last snow, it is happy about a pruning, then it can drive out new and strong at the beginning of the summer. Young plants can be grown by planting individual seeds of the flowering St. John's wort in a pot and bringing them forward. From a stature height of 10 cm, the young plants can be spread outdoors.
Nature of the plants
The true St. John's wort grows bushy and branched and differs thereby from fake Johanniskräutern. The individual stems and shoots are filled and reach different stature heights between 30 and 80 cm, with flowering often around one meter. The long oval leaves of the St. John's wort bear numerous small oil glands in which the essential medicinal oil of the plant is stored. The flowers are bright yellow and filled, the ovary carries the pollen. Hypericum perforatum proliferates over seeds that sit in small capsules in the middle of the fruit. The seeds, which can also be blown by strong winds, but are abducted mainly by animals. In addition, St. John's wort can also multiply vegetatively, that is, via the new growth and expansion of the root shoot. In this way, the herb can also be wonderfully propagated, as a root aura can be easily implemented and re-grows in the topsoil.
Toxic effect of St. John's wort
The actual medicinal herb possesses a slight poison effect, which however does not refer to humans. However, for albinos, such as white grazing animals such as goats, sheep and light horses, the dry flowering of St. John's Wort is poisonous and leads to the dissolution of red blood cells. Naturally, however, these animals keep away from St. John's wort, so it can still be cultivated agriculturally. In addition, the herb, which is desired as a medicinal plant in targeted cultivation, is considered a weed in the rest of agriculture and is therefore chemically combated.
In the family of the true St. John's wort there are four different species. All of them have the same healing properties, but differ in appearance. The following types are known:
- ordinary plants in normal size
- broad-leaved plants with broad leaves and flowers
- small-leaved plants with small leaves and flowers
- narrow-leaved plants with long, narrow leaves
- Bronchitis and tonsillitis
- Stomach upset and intestinal inflammation
- Rheumatism and gout
- menstrual pain
- sleep disorders
- Strains and compressions
- Puncture wounds and burns