It sounds very Renaissance Fair, doesn’t it? Anything with the word “wort” in it does, I think.
I had to look up the word, in fact, for this post, hoping it had a bizarre, archaic meaning, but really it only means herbaceous (non-woody) plant. Unless you are talking ale, then it means the liquid produced from mashing grains.
St. John’s Wort, in particular, is a medicinal herb. It doubles as a dyer’s plant, producing a yellow or gold color. Lots of studies have been conducted to see if it works as a treatment for depression, but the results are often inconclusive and sometimes contradictory. It’s been used traditionally for a slew of other complaints as well, something I find to be the case for most medicinal herbs. What this means I hesitate to speculate, but it seems that once a use is found for a plant, it gets tried for many ailments.
If you want to read more about this plant, here’s a general overview.
It grew easily in my garden from seed, but it hasn’t flowered yet. Hopefully it will and I can get some photos of the yellow blooms.
If you have experience of this plant, let’s hear it!